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Ky. bill aims to make stalking part of state's domestic violence law

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KENTUCKY (FOX19) -

Victims of stalking are not currently protected under Kentucky's domestic violence law, but now there's a plan in motion to change that.

Kentucky State Representative Thomas Kerr from Taylor Mill introduced a bill last month that would make stalking part of the state's domestic violence law.

That's a big deal for shooting survivor Alisha Waters. Waters tried to get a domestic violence protection order last April after her estranged husband, D.J. Mathis, texted her 186 times in two weeks.

In August, Mathis shot Waters five times outside her Fort Thomas workplace. It's been seven months since that horrific shooting, and Waters is still on the road to recovery.

Waters says Representative Kerr's bill is a step in the right direction.

"It's a good step, but there could be more done to help us," she said.

The measure does address the issue Waters faced when a judge denied her request for a domestic violence order against her estranged husband.
"Had somebody done this in the past, I might not be in the position I am today," said Waters.

Shequita Lail, with the victim's advocacy group SEROC, says she wonders how effective a domestic violence order can be.

"That's just a piece of paper and you have to call police, you have to wait. In that mean time, what can happen to you? Allot. You can get killed, anything can happen," said Lail.

Alisha says that piece of paper would have made a world of difference in her case.

"It is just a piece of paper, but at the end of the day, had I have had that piece of paper he would not have been able to purchase that gun and I believe that would have saved me from being in this chair today," Waters said.

Alisha's mother, Tammy Russell, says the anti-stalking bill needs to cover more than married couples and domestic partners.

"I've seen stories about teenagers dating and their boyfriend. An ex-boyfriend stabs them, shoots them. Men are in the same position," says Russell. 

Eddie Scudder, the uncle of Waters, has been working to get legislation to help victims of stalking and domestic violence. He says while Representative Kerr's bill is a good step, it doesn't go far enough. 

As Alisha continues her rehabilitation, her family is trying to win a handicap accessible van.

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