Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Announces $1 Million Grant to Launch First VINE Protective Order System

Press Release Date:  Monday, April 02, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Mary Byron Foundation launches first statewide pilot project

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today announced a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to the Mary Byron Foundation which will be used to start a new statewide VINE service called VINE Protective Order.

Eleven years ago, Kentucky launched the nation’s first VINE system – a statewide automated notification system that alerts crime victims to the status of an offender’s custody.

Now, Kentucky is the first state to offer the new VINE Protective Order system, which will notify victims of domestic violence when an emergency protective order has been served, the terms and conditions of the order, information about future court hearings and an order’s expiration date.

Governor Fletcher launched the new VINE Protective Order system at a press conference today in Louisville.

“I am pleased Kentucky will be the first in the nation to offer this vitally important service,” said Governor Fletcher. “The VINE Protective Order system affords peace of mind to victims and information they may need to keep their families safe.”

“Civil protective orders have been part of our justice system for nearly 30 years. However, there has been little innovation in the way they have been handled up to this point,” said Marcia Roth, executive director of the Mary Byron Foundation. “VINE Protective Order is a breakthrough on behalf of victims and public safety. In designing this system, our principal objective was to enhance safety, confidentiality and empowerment for the petitioner.”    

“In Kentucky, emergency protective orders are intended to protect a domestic violence victim from someone who has been abusive or threatened by violence,” said BG Norman E. Arflack, Justice and Public Safety Cabinet secretary.  “In the past, victims have had no sure way to know when an order is served, other than by making repeated calls to various agencies.  The automated system will allow victims to be contacted immediately when an emergency protective order is served.”

“The time immediately after a protective order is served can be particularly dangerous. Far too often, the respondent reacts violently when served, putting the victim in grave danger. Knowing when the order is served allows the petitioner to seek safety or call police to arrest the respondent if he or she violates the terms of the order,” said Jerry J. Bowles, a Jefferson County, Kentucky Family Court Judge and a member of the Mary Byron Foundation’s National Advisory Board. “VINE Protective Order promotes victim safety and facilitates the administration of justice as intended by the courts.”

“Domestic violence is a crime that affects us all,” said Governor Fletcher. “This notification system will strengthen Kentucky’s ability to protect victims and their families. I am proud the Mary Byron Foundation, a charity that is influencing the way communities all over the country respond to domestic violence, is here in Kentucky.”

Registration with the VINE Protective Order is confidential. The respondent won’t know a victim has registered. The service is available in both English and Spanish, and VINE operators are available 24 hours a day to register petitioners, answer questions and provide information.

The Mary Byron Foundation, a public grant-making charity based in Louisville that supports programs throughout the United States that are working to stop domestic violence.

The Mary Byron Foundation is named in memory of a Louisville woman whose murder led to the creation of VINE®, the nation’s leading system of automated crime victim notification. Appriss®, Inc., the company that continues to provide this life-saving service, provided seed money to help establish the Mary Byron Foundation in 2000.