On Tuesday August 6th in Ft. Thomas Kentucky, my niece Alisha Waters was shot 5 times by her estranged husband, DJ Mathis (3 in the abdomen, once in the leg, and once in the neck). He then put the gun to his head and killed himself.
Miraculously she survived, but the bullet to her neck severed her spinal cord.
She is now a quadriplegic.
They had been separated for three months, when my niece filed for an Emergency Protection Order based on harassing texts and phone calls from DJ. The EPO was granted, however six days later, it was rescinded by Judge Lisa Bushelman because there were (according to the judge) "No signs of domestic abuse", meaning she was not physically or sexually abused, therefore she had no right to a domestic violence order.
In Kentucky, the victim has to prove that they have been physically or sexually abused, before a DVO will be issued making the Domestic Violence Order the result of criminal activity.
One of the things we are trying as a family to accomplish is to amend the law surrounding the granting of the EPO/DVO, as well as the law regarding stalking and harassment.
Within a 2 week period Alisha had received 186 texts from her separated husband.
He used psychological abuse, and threats of harm in his texts and calls.
We are asking for help from the public to amend these Kentucky laws to include stalking as a civil matter. We wish to bring Kentucky into the 21st century and force them to recognize that one can be abused mentally as well as physically.
Had Alisha been granted the DVO, DJ would have been denied the purchase of the gun that changed her life forever.
Alisha has finally returned home; prior she had spent 4 months at 3 different rehab facilities. Representative Thomas Kerr KY-064 has introduced HB-501 which adds the definition of stalking to the domestic violence law.
It is still a criminal statute.