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Topeka wants to decriminalize 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. The thinking here is that the county won’t let domestic violence go unpunished in Topeka and so will be forced to step in and start prosecuting it again if the city won’t. Basically, it’s a big game of chicken–where the “chicken” is, I suppose, the chump who won’t allow domestic abusers to walk free?

Of course, if you’d somehow gotten the impression that domestic violence is not really all that much of a priority for the county (which stopped prosecuting the cases almost a month ago) or the city (which is seriously considering officially legalizing the crime), think again. On the contrary, everyone involved professes to believe, as the DA’s office said, “that domestic violence is a crime that should be taken seriously and charged.” It’s just that everyone wants someone else to pay for it. And honestly, as deep cuts to state and local governments across the country take their toil, it’s hard to blame them too harshly for that. Thanks, austerity!

Read more at Feministing. And understand that while we men are already disproportionately underserved as regards domestic violence, in Topeka, NOBODY is going to be served. Not women, not men, nobody. All because the rich must get richer, and the poor must pay higher taxes or face cuts to their support structure. Nice system you’ve got there.

Comments

  1. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    All because the rich must get richer, and the poor must pay higher taxes or face cuts to their support structure.

    It’s a little more complicated than that.

    It’s so the rich can get richer and invest all their riches in something or other which will bring prosperity to everyone. Honest. St. Ronnie Reagan himself declared this would happen and so did George W. Shrub. Who are we to doubt such eminent and distinguished economists?

  2. says

    Yes, I’m probably oversimplifying by describing how things have actually played out, rather than the right-wing voodoo economics fantasy. :)

    Wait. Didn’t Ronnie make that phrase up?

  3. The Ys says

    I ranted about this on a G+ post, and was then informed that I was being too “shrill” and that people were tired of my negativity (one complaint, from one man) and that people were tired of getting harped on for being Republicans from states that do this crap.

    My response: too bad. If you people will not lift a finger to ensure equal protection for every citizen in your state, you deserve the mockery.

    I have one friend from Kansas. She claims that not all Kansans are this batshit insane, but I have a hard time believing her. The central/southern Midwest is almost as scary as Alabama.

  4. VeritasKnight says

    Now, I read on Blag Hag that the State would be forced to take these cases on, but I’m not sure if that’s the case. It’s definitely more of a case where the active thought is “pass the buck” rather than “hate on women”.

    The problem is that when they need to pass the buck the first place their mind goes is the “hate on women” aspect. That’s when people need to seriously challenge their mental biases.

  5. fastlane says

    The one possible upside to this whole thing is that one person in the Phelps clan might snap and beat the daylights out of old man P and Shirley…..

    I’m trying real hard to find a positive spin here, cut me some slack….

  6. Brigit says

    One of my closest friends and her spouse are from Topeka, KS. Her in-laws are nice, regular people. However, her family members are poor, very religious, very conservative, and some – like her parents- have serious drugs and alcohol dependency problems.
    Her dad has beaten the crap out of every wife (5 and counting) and live-in girlfriend he’s had – not to mention all of his kids.** The spouses of some of her sisters are also physically abusive jerks with drug dependency issues. Among their social groups that type of violent behavior is normalized.
    It frightens me to think that jerks like her dad could escalate their abuse thinking that there will be no recourse for their victims.

    **My friend survived her shoddy upbringing and is one of the most caring, intelligent and driven people I know, and her spouse is a sweetheart.

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