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Domestic violence non-profit on the effects of Roe v. Wade overturned

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Posted at 7:10 PM, Jul 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 19:25:59-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in late June and the temporary restraining order blocking Kentucky’s abortion bans have left some non-profits unsure about the guidance they can provide their clients.

Lexington's GreenHouse 17 is a non-profit that just celebrated its 17th year working to end domestic violence across Kentucky. Associate Director Diane Fleet explains that intimate partner abuse has many forms.

"Domestic violence can look so different from family to family, person to person, and we really define it in terms of power and control. So, I think a lot of people get stuck on physical violence but really you look at dynamics of control,” says Fleet.

The overturning of Roe v. Wade is a concern of GreenHouse. Fleet explained many at the non-profit and its partners have a lot of thoughts and beliefs around Roe v. Wade. She says they know abuse often revolves around children and sexual violence, including rape.

"The ramifications of those two things of making it difficult for a person to leave a situation, to be entangled or connected to a person for 18 plus years of their life, to be constantly sort of brought into court," said Fleet. "And we certainly understand that there are rights for both parents to be connected in a relationship, but when you have an abusive partner who's not really playing by the rules fairly and are using their children as a power tactic as opposed to definitely just concerns about the children and wanting to be a part of their life. We have real concerns about what that is gonna do in the long-term."

For women that have been affected by sexual violence, GreenHouse leaders say that speaking about Roe v. Wade's overturning has been a point of uncertainty.

"How much are we able to say and share? One of the things that I think GreenHouse 17 has always stressed is we are there for the survivor and their family and we just share options. So whatever that individual feels they need to stay safe and to live independently, that's what we're here for - we're not really here to decide this is a good decision or this is a bad decision, we just want to give you the options."

Fleet shares that if abortions are permanently banned in Kentucky, she expects an uptick in other resources.

"If a person is struggling emotionally, if a person is dealing with depression or anxiety it is our responsibility and goal to be able to kind of support and advocate them, where ever they are right at that moment,” says Fleet.

No matter what happens, this non-profit's goal is to provide its clients care and support.