Topeka Repealed Local Domestic Violence Law? Huh?

by Kristen Pavón


That was my initial thought after reading an article in the NY Times about the repeal of a domestic violence law in Kansas. Seriously, people?

With slim budgets all around, dangerous games with people’s safety at stake are being played. Prosecutors are forced to play the priorities game — having to decide which cases they’ll take on and the ones they’ll let slide. City leaders play chicken — repealing laws hoping the county or state will pick up their slack.

This week, at a seemingly routine City Council meeting in Topeka, Kansas, domestic violence victims were on the losing end of these games.

By a vote of 7 to 3, the City Council repealed the local law that makes domestic violence a crime.

The thought behind this being that the state’s District Attorney would be forced to prosecute domestic violence cases because they would remain a crime under state law.

However, the problem is that the state is struggling financially as well.

Eighteen people have been arrested on domestic violence charges since September and released without charges because no agency is accepting new cases. That has raised concerns among advocates for victims of domestic violence, some of whom gathered Tuesday outside government buildings to express outrage over the gamesmanship.

To me, this is pretty outrageous. I understand we have to make some sacrifices because of our nation’s dire economic state, but I gotta ask — How far back are these budget cuts going to take us?

Read more here.


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