Our History

Kentucky’s first domestic violence shelter opened in Louisville in 1977 and by 1980 there were six shelter programs serving battered women and their children in the Commonwealth. The Kentucky Domestic Violence Association (now known as the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence, KCADV) was founded in 1981 by the staff of the existing programs as a statewide coalition whose membership was to include all domestic violence programs in Kentucky. Early on, the Commonwealth committed to providing regional domestic violence services and by 1987 there were programs (shelters) operating in each of Kentucky’s fifteen Area Development Districts. The purpose of KDVA (now KCADV) was to provide mutual support, information, resource sharing and technical assistance; to coordinate services; and to collectively advocate for battered women and their children on statewide issues. KCADV and its members have advocated for changes in state laws to help victims of domestic violence since 1982. The group’s efforts have helped pass legislation addressing warrantless arrest, emergency protective orders, marital rape, dating violence and increasing resources for victim services.


The Clothesline project in Frankfort, KY honors women who have died of violence: yellow or beige for those who have been battered or assaulted; red, pink, or orange for those who have been raped or sexually assaulted; blue or green for survivors of incest or child sexual abuse; and purple or lavender for women attacked because of sexual orientation.Caption


KDVA staff attend first Level 1 Certification graduation hosted in the Kentucky Governor's Mansion by First Lady Judy Patton.


Governor Wallace Wilkinson signs marital rape legislation into law in 1990.


First Lady Jane Beshear celebrates a successful Shop and Share campaign with KDVA President Ann Perkins and Kroger representative Tim McGurk.


Sanctuary, Inc. staff in Hopkinsville, KY renovate an old hotel to provide emergency shelter and transitional and permanent housing for area survivors of DV in 1998.