Update: Topeka Ends Prosecution of Domestic Violence Perpetrators

In a bid to save money from being forced to prosecute perpetrators of domestic violence, the city of Topeka has voted 7 to 3 to repeal the law making domestic violence a crime, and release the abusers from jail.  Topeka’s mayor believed that the move would force the perpetrators to be tried by the County District Attorney instead, since it would still be a crime under state law, but the DA was reluctant to agree with that assessment.

The victims of abuse are being used as collateral damage between a DA who is refusing to absorb requested budget cuts and a city that believes it is being passed the buck when it comes to prosecution costs.  No one expected that the DA’s threats to prioritize prosecution would actually come to fruition. Shelly Buhler, chairwoman of the Shawnee County Commission, told the New York Times, “We had hoped that he would not put that group of victims at risk, that he would find some other way to absorb the cuts.

So far, 18-30 abusers have been released and are back on the streets, with more likely to follow.

As a result of the action, and the resulting pressure from Domestic Assault Victims advocates and a firestorm of media attention, DA Chad Taylor has agreed to begin prosecuting at the county level once more. “My office now retains sole authority to prosecute domestic battery misdemeanors and will take on this responsibility so as to better protect and serve our community,” Taylor said in a statement. “We will do so with less staff, less resources, and severe constraints on our ability to effectively seek justice.”

 

Related Stories:

Topeka May Make Domestic Violence Legal To Save Money

Beaten By A Partner or Deported, Which Would You Choose?

Ad Campaign Depicting Domestic Violence Sparks Outrage

Photo credit: Prashanthns, via wikimedia commons

85 comments

TJ W.
Tahni W4 years ago

But I suppose the punishment will be carried out to it's fullest on the survivor of abuse if they take justice into their own hands....

Janine H.
Janine H5 years ago

"Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."
(Native American proverb)

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

Carla Elchesen
Carla Elchesen5 years ago

Excuse me, but what's the difference between "domestic violence" and "assault"? The answer is, NOTHING! How can assault be illegal in Kansas, but it's perfectly okay to beat your spouse?!?! VIOLENCE IS VIOLENCE, no matter what you call it, and ANY & ALL violence against another human being should be illegal! May the mother of all tornados wipe out this stupid, pathetic town!

Carla Elchesen
Carla Elchesen5 years ago

Excuse me, but what's the difference between "domestic violence" and "assault"? The answer is, NOTHING! How can assault be illegal in Kansas, but it's perfectly okay to beat your spouse?!?! VIOLENCE IS VIOLENCE, no matter what you call it, and ANY & ALL violence against another human being should be illegal! May the mother of all tornados wipe out this stupid, pathetic town!

bruce t.
bruce t5 years ago

and so I understand they decided not to decriminalize domestic violence afterall, well guess what, those MEN in Kansas in general & Topeka in particular are such scum anyway for even thinking of this in the first place & after 72 years they still live in the land of Oz, that's right, in case you fellows in that area are like Lions, Tin men & Scarecrows--you fellows in Kansas have no courage, you have no hearts...and you have NO BRAINS!!!

Lori E.
Lori E5 years ago

How stupid are they?! Another place in the US I will never live or visit.

Bonnie B.
Bonnie B5 years ago

What?! What?! Did I just wake up in a Taliban camp in the mountains of Afghanistan? I don't think I'm in Kansas anymore, Toto....no wait...

Ironically enough I have TV on and there is a special on about Domestic Violence right now.

Ladies of Topeka and the state of Kansas, get out and vote these people out!

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Britin J.
Past Member 5 years ago

All I can say is : WTF!

Lika S.
Lika S5 years ago

Decriminalizing domestic violence will only increase convictions for poor people who wrote bad checks to buy bread for their hungry children. This is an outrage!