Special report: Fighting domestic violence in Kentucky

In the past three years, 49 Kentuckians have been killed by their husbands, boyfriends or former mates — victims of the ultimate form of domestic violence, according to a state advocacy group and news accounts.

Yet only seven of those victims had domestic-violence orders from the courts to protect themselves from their alleged abusers, according to a Courier-Journal review.

Advocates say there are a variety of reasons that battered women don't seek protective orders, including embarrassment and fear — and the perception that they don't work.

But statewide figures indicate they generally do keep abusers at bay — while 23,378 protective orders were issued last year, there were only 3,501 charges for violations of orders.

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