Monday, October 10, 2011

Tornado in Progress: Topeka Kansas and the Legalization of Domestic Violence

Shawnee County, KS District Attorney, Dan Taylor,  has created tornado like conditions of epidemic proportions as he dumps cases by handing off prosecution of misdemeanors, including domestic violence charges, to the city of Topeka. City Manager, Chad Stanley, along with the city council, has reviewed several options, one which would be "repealing city ordinances banning misdemeanors, thereby creating a vacuum in which Stanley thinks the law would require the district attorney to prosecute."   Perhaps these politicians didn't think anyone would notice what was going on?

According to news reports:
"Last month,(Sept.) the Shawnee County District Attorney's office, facing a 10 per cent budget cut, announced that the county would no longer be prosecuting misdemeanors, including domestic violence cases, at the county level," reports Think Progress.
The council is expected next week (Tues., Oct. 11) to consider the proposed changes, which would include repealing the part of the code that bans domestic battery" 

Topeka is making national headlines by working on repealing the current codes to decriminalize domestic violence, citing budget cut backs. A law, I might add, enacted because victims were being killed. A law signed by the Governor, not with a pen of ink, but the blood of those who lost their lives.

One woman in the eye of the storm, advocate and protective mothers rights expert, Claudine Dombrowski who nearly lost her own life and now fights to lift the silence in intimate partner violence related crimes for thousands of others, not only Topeka, but across the county.

How can Topeka violate a state law? Below in is the recent passage of H.B. 2517, now law. Perhaps the State's Fatality Review Board has the authority to halt the legalization of domestic violence.

July-2011-TOPEKA — signed the most comprehensive domestic violence legislation ever passed in Kansas goes into effect. Originally passed by the 2010 legislature, House Bill 2517 was signed into law by former Governor Mark Parkinson in April 2010. Recommended to the Kansas legislature by the Governor’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, this law will assist the criminal justice system in documenting crimes associated with domestic violence.

This new law will improve tracking repeat domestic violence offenders by tagging files of men and women if there is an element of domestic violence in a case. This information will assist the courts, law enforcement, and advocacy groups to better respond to domestic violence offenses.This legislation also requires the court system to order an assessment of the offender and recommend intervention treatment programs.

According to data from the Governor’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, more than 20 women are killed each year in Kansas as a result of domestic violence. Nationally, domestic violence is one of the leading causes of injury to women. Data from the U.S. Department of Justice says that on average, three women are killed by their current or former partners each year.

On the Kansas Bar Association Website it says domestic violence is against the law:

Domestic violence may be physical, sexual or emotional: slapping, punching, shoving, beating, kicking, threats of harm, deprivation of sleep or affection, sexual assault, harassment, insults, other verbal abuse or any pattern of behavior that causes emotional harm. Violent behavior toward others is wrong; it is against the law no matter who does it: a stranger, a neighbor, someone you live with or a family member. Most acts of violence are committed within the family circle. Many acts of abuse are unreported and the victims cover up the injuries they receive.

Why can't the State Bar Association, made up of lawyers, do anything to stop the District Attorney? How about the Bar file an injunction with the courts prohibiting the City of Topeka from repealing a state law?

In the meantime repeat offenders are not being charged for second and third offenses. In two current Topeka cases the victims next call will be placed by a family member for funeral arrangements as they are carried out in body bags from their homes.

Perhaps we should ask the current DA if the city who mismanaged their financial responsibilities have budgeted for a new town cemetery to bury those murdered by their abusive and violent partners?

The nation needs to lend their voices to those pretending to be on the side of justice as they silence the crimes of intimate partner violence victims.

Consider sending an email or call DA Chad Taylor: • 785.233.8200 x4330 and the Shawnee County Commission • 785.233.8200 x4040.

Please if you live in the Topeka, Kansas area lend your voice and attend the protest Tuesday, October 11th (details below)

For more information on whats happening Google search any combination of "Topeka Kansas Decriminalize Domestic Violence"
Topeka’s Plan to decimalize Domestic Violence – In Domestic Violence Awareness Month –no less. shame.
Several National Media Articles – under Google search in News “Topeka Domestic Violence”
Time Tuesday, October 11 · 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Location 200 SE 7th St. Topeka, Ks. 66603

More Info:

Come protest the District Attorney Chad Taylor’s office from 4 pm- 5:30 pm. We must stand up against the decisions being made regarding women and their families’ lives due to budget cuts right here in Kansas.

Bring your signs!

Following the protest there will be a city council meeting in the same building starting at 6 pm.

We need people to come in masses and please call the Shawnee County Courthouse if you would like to speak at the meeting in order to get your name on the docket before 5 pm on Tuesday. Please send the word out and your presence is needed in this time of lost priorities. We will hand out purple ribbons at the protest.
*If you do wish to speak (and call to put your name on the list), they request that you limit your time to 4 minutes MAX.

If you have questions, the email address is:

This book doesn't merely discuss when you should leave or why you should leave, it tells you HOW you should leave. The book has step-by-step instructions how to covertly make a plan, set-up a safe escape, deal with financial issues, and the paperwork. Susan even takes you line-by-line through the process, the forms, the legal issues...she takes you by the hand, and, believe me, when you are being terrorized and you are an basket case, you don't need vague ideas, you need specific instructions. TIME'S UP can save your life and your sanity. If you need to get out, get this book before you make a mistake that could be fatal. It is money well spent.


Susan Murphy Milano is a staff member of the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education. She is a specialist with intimate partner violence prevention strategies and high risk cases and available for personal consultations through the Institute. She is also part of the team at Management Resources Limited of New York.

Susan is the author of "Time's Up: A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships,"Moving out, Moving on, and Defending Out Lives. Susan is the host of The Susan Murphy Milano Show, "Time's Up!" . She is a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated "The Roth Show" with Dr Laurie Roth and a co-host on Crime Wire.

If you would like to schedule Susan Murphy Milano for training and interviews, please contact:ImaginePublicity PO BOX 14946 Surfside Beach, SC 29587 Phone: 843.808.0859 email-

1 comment:

Burl Barer said...

The D.A. isn't your enemy here...he wants the outrage so he can get the money to prosecute! Managers in government always know to threaten the most visible and urgent of their services to the public when faced with threats to their budget. The first to go are typically police, firefighters, and teachers. This tactic by the DA is no different. He is on your side for heaven's sake! You are attacking the wrong person.

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