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Council Considers Decriminalizing Domestic Violence To Save Money
#1

Topeka, Kansas City Council Considers Decriminalizing Domestic Violence To Save Money

By Marie Diamond on Oct 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm
[Image: domestic2.jpg]Faced with their worst budget crises since the Great Depression, states and cities have resorted to increasingly desperate measures to cut costs. State and local governments have laid off teachers, slashed Medicaid funding, and even started unpaving roads and turning off streetlights.
But perhaps the most shocking idea to save money is being debated right now by the City Council of Topeka, Kansas. The city could repeal an ordinance banning domestic violence because some say the cost of prosecuting those cases is just too high:
Last night, in between approving city expenditures and other routine agenda items, the Topeka, Kansas City Council debated one rather controversial one: decriminalizing domestic violence.
Here's what happened: Last month, the Shawnee County District Attorney's office, facing a 10% budget cut, announced that the county would no longer be prosecuting misdemeanors, including domestic violence cases, at the county level. Finding those cases suddenly dumped on the city and lacking resources of their own, the Topeka City Council is now considering repealing the part of the city code that bans domestic battery. [...]
Since the county stopped prosecuting the crimes on September 8th, it has turned back 30 domestic violence cases. Sixteen people have been arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery and then released from the county jail after charges weren't filed. "Letting abusive partners out of jail with no consequences puts victims in incredibly dangerous positions," said Becky Dickinson of the YWCA. "The abuser will often become more violent in an attempt to regain control."
The YMCA also said that some survivors were afraid for their safety if the dispute wasn't resolved soon. Town leaders and the district attorney all agree that domestic abuse cases should be prosecuted but no one would step up to foot the bill. The city council is expected to make its decision on decriminalizing domestic violence next week, but the back-and-forth over funding has already put battered women and their families at increased risk of harm.
Domestic violence is still at epidemic levels in the United States, and too few cases are prosecuted as it is. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in four women will be a victim of domestic violence. And domestic abuse is a crime that damages entire communities, not just women. Witnessing violence between one's parents is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next: boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partner when they grow up.
And while not prosecuting domestic violence cases may seem to save money in the short term, it actually has staggering financial consequences. The health-related costs of domestic violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year. Nearly $4.1 billion of that is for direct medical and mental health care services, and nearly $1.8 billion are for the indirect costs of lost productivity or wages. Victims lost almost 8 million days of paid work because of the violence.
It should go without saying, but apparently doesn't, that preventing domestic abuse is essential to promoting communities' economic and social well-being. That the Topeka City Council would even consider such action is a heartbreaking illustration of the consequences of austerity.
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/10...ave-money/
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#2
Lovely picture of the Topeka City Council, complete with black eye..

We are past overdue in empowering women, educating people about domestic violence and abuse, providing personal safety awareness and self-defense training, and providing training, simulation, education and somatics-based interpersonal conflict training, but what they hey, we are working instead on setting the global McSomebody-or-other record in terms of how many wars can we prosecute simultaneously and for long periods of time. Someone brilliant will come along and publish something about psychological pathology versus the wellness, awareness and stability of self.
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
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#3
Legalizing domestic violence because the forces of Law and Order say it's too expensive to prosecute cases, eh?

What's next?

A refusal to prosecute racist violence because the cost is prohibitive?

The reintroduction of slavery because it's too expensive to pay workers?

Oh wait.

I just saw some neocons and laissez faire capitalists grinning a sickening grin....
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
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#4

Topeka Removes Ban on Domestic Battery


By Kate Sheppard
| Wed Oct. 12, 2011 12:08 PM PDT


[Image: black-eye.jpg]chic.geek/Flickr
Topeka City Council voted on Tuesday night to drop a ban on domestic violence within the city, in a bass-ackward attempt to force county law enforcement to deal with those cases. As I blogged last week, the city and the district attorney are in a spat about who should pay to prosecute those cases, and the result has left victims of domestic violence in the lurch.
The Topeka Capitol-Journal reports that the council voted 7 to 3 to repeal an ordinance banning domestic battery. Supporters argue that the move will force Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor to resume prosecuting those cases, which he stopped doing last month in protest of budget cuts:
The vote came after [Interim city manager Dan] Stanley recommended the governing body approve the repeal to make it clear that only the district attorney's office is legally empowered to prosecute domestic batteries committed in Topeka and can't "dump" that responsibility on the city.
Stanley said the repeal would "remove all ambiguity from this question" while giving the city leverage as it negotiates with the county commission and district attorney's office to seek to ensure misdemeanor domestic batteries committed in Topeka are prosecuted in district court.
The city's assistant attorney says domestic violence is still a crime, since there's a state law banning it. But the move essentially ensures that no one is in charge of enforcing that law in the state capital. And, let me remind you again, that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Looks like they really know how to celebrate it in Kansas.
http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/10/tope...ic-battery

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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