Misdemeanor Prosecution Standoff Must End

October 11, 2011 – For Immediate Release

Topeka, KS – The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence and the National Network to End Domestic Violence are shocked that the City of Topeka and Shawnee County, Kansas, have decided that the safety of their citizens who are victims of domestic violence is not a priority.

National Network to End Domestic Violence logoAll over the state and the nation, communities have made the safety of victims of domestic violence a priority; in spite of the economic downturn. In Kansas, two communities have recently maintained criminal justice/domestic violence related positions after losing grant funds. In one of them, the Chief of Police has continued a grant-funded investigator position, maintaining domestic violence investigation as a priority. In the other, the city has retained a police investigator position and a victim witness coordinator for the municipal court, while the local domestic violence program has continued to maintain the police response advocate position in spite of loss of funds. In another Kansas community, an expanded center serving adult and child victims of domestic and sexual violence opened this week.

In Cincinnati, Ohio, the city governing body just passed a resolution this week declaring that living free from domestic violence is a basic human right.

This is what prioritizing domestic violence prosecution and safety of victims looks like; not repealing city ordinances, not refusing to prosecute because of budget cuts, not tossing the safety of victims back and forth between city and county governments and prosecutors; not reducing or omitting funding for critical services and responses. This isn’t about budgets it’s about priorities.

The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) stands together with the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) in calling for an end to this standoff between two local governments, in calling for an end to domestic violence without consequences. We demand that victims be protected and that batterers be held accountable.

For decades, KCSDV and NNEDV have urged state and local governments to prioritize the issue of domestic violence. We are saddened and shocked that during Domestic Violence Awareness Month these local governments have reversed time and turned their backs on victims.

Media Contact

Lucca Wang, Communications Coordinator
lwang@kcsdv.org
Office: 785-232-9784 Extension 335
Mobile: 785-633-6648

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KANSAS CRISIS HOTLINE: 888-END-ABUSE | 888-363-2287