Thanks to ABC's The Governor's Son, which will air Wednesday, we've seen a photo of the gun that killed Amanda Ross and a national audience will learn of former state Rep. Steve Nunn's fall from prominence to life imprisonment for her murder.
What we have not seen is an honest reckoning by our legislature of its failure to adequately respond, not just to Ross's murder, but to all the suffering inflicted on innocent Kentuckians by violence against women.
The legislature has a chance to atone and make our state safer. Rep. John Tilley, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is moving a bill that would extend domestic violence protections to dating couples.
This legislation, which would merely bring Kentucky in line with the vast majority of states, has twice cleared the House in recent years, only to die without so much as a hearing in the Senate.
Senators who think domestic violence is not a real problem should look at the data on child abuse in Kentucky.
Of 85 children who died or were seriously harmed by abuse or neglect in 2009 and 2010, domestic violence was mentioned in 48 of the cases, or more than half, according to a Herald-Leader analysis of internal reviews recently ordered released.
As television viewers settle in to watch the Nunn story, it's a safe bet a Kentucky child is in a home where his mother is being beaten.
An opportunity to interrupt that cycle of violence is one of the best reasons to extend domestic violence protections to younger, unmarried couples.
Domestic violence orders are issued by civil courts, so the offender won't be burdened with a criminal record but will get a wake-up call, perhaps before the pattern of violence becomes permanent or before becoming a parent.
Protective orders now are available only to married couples, those living together or those who have a child together. While we only hear about protective orders when they fail, research shows that Kentucky's civil laws are working to make domestic violence victims more secure and allowing them to get on with their lives, while saving taxpayers money on incarcerations, medical treatment and social services.
What's not working is Amanda's Law, enacted after Ross's death to provide GPS monitoring in high-risk domestic violence cases.
Here's a little secret: Amanda's Law weakened domestic violence protections.
This is little known because it requires a fairly granular understanding of the law, and victims advocates couldn't blow the whistle without offending powerful lawmakers who they need to get anything done.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo sponsored Amanda's Law; it was heavily re-worked by Sen. Tom Jensen, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Judges already had the authority to order GPS monitoring when issuing domestic violence orders before Amanda's Law. Now, GPS monitoring can be ordered only after the offender has committed a serious violation.
As far as we can tell, no domestic violence offenders have been ordered to wear GPS ankle bracelets in the almost two years since the law was enacted.
Since Amanda's Law, the forms to obtain a protective order ask victims to list the places they want the alleged perpetrator to be restricted from going. In other words, women who are trying to avoid being hurt or killed have to all but draw their abuser a map of where to find them.
Amanda's Law also excluded some more distant family members, such as cousins, from access to protective orders.
Amanda Ross's courageous mother, Diana Ross, has worked to strengthen and expand domestic violence protections. She spoke to ABC and is expected to speak at a press conference at the Capitol in favor of expanding protective orders to dating partners. Lawmakers should listen to her.
Unfortunately, the ABC documentary is part of a short series called Revenge for Real, a play on one of the network's dramatic series. The title is misleading because it suggests Nunn was getting even for an injury or insult.
Domestic violence is not an act of getting even; it's an act of control.