Legislative Advocacy

The Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs (KASAP) is the statewide coalition for the 13 regional sexual assault support programs. We speak with a unified voice against sexual victimization.

Each year, the Kentucky legislature is tasked with addressing a multitude of issues facing Kentuckians, including issues connected to the prevention of and response to sexual assault, abuse, and harassment. KASAP is committed to advocating at the state legislature for changes that serve to prevent sexual harm and support survivors.

For questions about our public policy and legislative advocacy work, please contact Laela Kashan, Staff Attorney, lkashan@kasap.org, 502-226-2704.

5 principles to address sexual assault, abuse, and harassment through state-level policy

  • Promote policies that create safe and healthy environments, reducing the likelihood of perpetration and victimization.
  • Meet basic human needs so individuals can thrive and heal from sexual harm.
  • Pass laws aligning with research about best practices to address sexual harm.
  • Recognize that survivors have different needs and wants in their healing journey and support legislation that allows for various forms of healing.
  • Address sexual harm comprehensively, including beyond criminal law.

5 wins for survivors in 2021

The 2021 Kentucky General Assembly provided many wins for survivors. Here are five to highlight.

  • Financial, funding and pension fix to ensure stability of rape crisis centers and support services for survivors
     
  • Mental Health, Sen. Alvarado: expansion of access to mental health services for unaccompanied youth ages 16 and up
     
  • Child Sexual Abuse, Rep. Bechler: improvements for child sexual abuse civil actions and criminal misdemeanor statute of limitations
     
  • Child/Maternal Mortality, Rep. Heavrin: gather data on race, income, and geography on child and maternal mortality
     
  • "Dignity 2," Sen. Raque Adams: pregnancy and postpartum support for individuals who are incarcerated

5 Needs for 2022 and Beyond

Here are five top priorities to promote the prevention of sexual assault and abuse while continuing to add protections and services for survivors. These will build on the Kentucky General Assembly's past efforts.

  • Provide increased funding for rape crisis centers to maintain support services for survivors.
  • Enact LGBTQ+ protections through anti-discrimination legislation and banning conversion therapy.
  • Protect employment through paid family leave, sexual harassment training and protections at work, access to unemployment benefits, and access to paid time off for mental health needs and court.
  • Empower youth through education including topics such as healthy relationships, boundaries, and consent.
  • Support survivors to come forward and speak out or report without fear of retaliation or loss of education.

Legislative Advocacy Series

Hosted by KASAP Staff Attorney Laela Kashan, this three-part series goes in depth into KASAP's public policy priorities and all our voices, especially voices of survivors, are important in communicating with our lawmakers. 

Part One: Kentucky Legislative Process
  • Find and contact your legislators
  • Attend/watch committee hearings
  • Find/track legislative information
  • Legislative time periods
  • Advocacy "Dos and Don'ts"
 
Part Two: Sexual Assault and Abuse Public Policy Agendas
  • Review of KASAP's Public Policy Agenda
  • Review National Survivors' Agenda
  • Finding other agendas and supportive coalitions
 
Part Three: Kentucky State Legislator Panel
  • State legislators share their tips for engaging in the legislative process

The Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc. (KASAP) is the statewide coalition of the 13 rape crisis centers in the Commonwealth. The mission of KASAP is to speak with a unified voice against sexual victimization.

83-C Michael Davenport Boulevard
Frankfort, KY 40601
PO Box 4028, Frankfort, KY 40604

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