Survivors Council issues recommendations including new minimum age for marriage

01/17/2018 04:56 PM

FRANKFORT — Members of the Attorney General’s Survivors Council shared their recommendations on how the state can improve to better support victims of violent crimes.

Of the more than 50 recommendations, at least one has been filed as legislation in the state Senate; a bill which would increase the minimum age for marriage in Kentucky.

Senate Bill 48 filed by Sen. Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, prohibits people under the age of 18-years old from getting married.

Attorney General Andy Beshear, D-Kentucky, said there are instances in Kentucky where 15 and 16-year old kids are marrying adults in their 50’s.

The legislation has been sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, Beshear’s former challenger for the office. Westerfield has already announced a run for the position of Attorney General in 2019.

Beshear said the child marriage issue is non-partisan, and that he hopes Westerfield will support it. The Attorney General said he supports Marsy’s law, a Constitutional Amendment Westerfield has been trying to pass for several years that seems poised to clear the General Assembly this year.

Other recommendations from the council include: mandating DNA sample taken at felony arrest, updating the definition of rape to match the federal description, passing a revenge porn law, increased pay for child welfare workers, mandating child abuse detection education for all teachers and other first responders, adopting zero tolerance policies for sexual harassment and passing Marsy’s Law, among other items.

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