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Office of Victims Advocacy

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Office of Victims Advocacy within the Office of the Attorney General works to ensure justice and healing for Commonwealth's crime victims and to implement strategies to reduce the number of crime victims in the future.

Pursuant to KRS 421.500, referred to as the Victims' Bill of Rights of 1986, the Office of Victims Advocacy works to ensure crime victims are treated with respect and dignity as their case proceeds through the criminal justice system. The functions of the Office regarding crime victims' rights include:

  • notifying victims of criminal appeals;
  • publishing and distributing an information pamphlet for victims;
  • providing technical assistance to prosecutors on establishing victim assistance programs;
  • and providing other services for victims as requested by the prosecuting attorney.

The Office also maintains the Crime Victim Information Line and provides a violence against women prosecution specialist to coordinate and consult with victim services professionals on issues relating to the successful intervention in and prosecution of violent crimes against women. Victim advocates within this Division may also provide victim services directly to crime victims in criminal cases across the Commonwealth.

The Office of Victims Advocacy administers and monitors the Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Board, which fund child sexual abuse prevention programs and oversees the tax check-off and license plate projects for the Child Victims' Trust Fund. The Office also manages the Victim Defense Fund that provides grant funding for community based victim advocates, and annually conducts Kentucky's Victim Assistance Conference, for prosecutor and community based victim advocates and those in related fields, as well as the Victims' Rights Day Rally, which honors victims of violent crime and their families.

Additionally, the Office provides staff support to the Kentucky Multidisciplinary Commission on Child Sexual Abuse and its management of data collection on child sexual abuse cases; as well as the annual Kentucky Prosecutors Institute, which provides training to new prosecutors across the Commonwealth.

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Gretchen Hunt​​​Gretchen Hunt heads the Office of Victims Advocacy. Hunt has advocated for the rights of victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and human trafficking for the past 15 years. She has worked at the Center for Women and Families, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs. She was a leader in helping to advocate for passage of Kentucky's Human Trafficking Victims Rights Act. Her articles on human trafficking have been published in the Kentucky Bar Review and the Journal of Violence, Trauma and Abuse. She is a past recipient of Leadership Award of the Kentucky Women's Law Enforcement Network and the Liberation Award from Kentucky Rescue and Restore for her work on human trafficking, and was recently awarded Member of the Year by the Women Lawyers Association. In addition to her work with victims, she has taught courses on gender and the law and domestic violence at the University of Louisville and the Brandeis School of Law. She is a graduate of Boston College Law School.