Topeka, KS - It is with shame and embarrassment that KCSDV notes, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, that the City of Topeka and Shawnee County have not yet resolved their debate about who will prosecute domestic violence misdemeanor crimes.
"This is not an issue of budgets, it is an issue of priorities." stated Joyce Grover, executive director of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. "Every city, town and county in America has been forced to make hard decisions as we all do more with less, yet none have chosen to balance their budget on the backs of victims of abuse. This inaction is simply unacceptable – and the absurdity of this situation has made a mockery of Topeka and Shawnee County in the eyes of the nation."
This "standoff" is not only an insult to victims of domestic violence, it is an insult to the communities across the state that have made domestic violence perpetrator accountability and victim safety a top priority, making other sacrifices in order to maintain this commitment.
During this time of indecision in Shawnee county and Topeka, perpetrators are committing domestic violence with impunity. Battering their partners and going home to do it again with no consequences. Perpetrator accountability and victim safety cannot be compromised, even when resources are limited.
Topeka City Council meets every Tuesday at 6pm in the City Building, and the Board of the Shawnee County Commission meets every Monday and Thursday in Room B11 of the County Courthouse. Meetings are open to the public and include an opportunity for public comment. Let your opinions be known.
As we come together during Domestic Violence Awareness Month to honor the families shattered by domestic violence, we must also demand action. Let your voices be heard.
Contact: Audra Fullerton
KCSDV Communications Coordinator
Founded in 1982, the purpose of KCSDV is the prevention and elimination of sexual and domestic violence through a statewide network of programs providing support and safety for all victims of sexual and domestic violence and stalking, with primary focus on women and their children; direct services; public awareness and education; advocacy for victims; comprehensive prevention; and, social change efforts. Learn more at www.kcsdv.org.