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US city repeals city law against domestic violence to save money

(17 Posts)
AnnieLobeseder Thu 13-Oct-11 08:16:53

www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/topeka-kan-repeals-city-law-against-domestic-violence-to-save-money/2011/10/12/gIQAZTgVfL_blog.html

If such backwards steps are being taken in the supposed world leading nation, what chance do women in the developing world have? Horrifying.

AnnieLobeseder Thu 13-Oct-11 08:17:54

How can it possibly not be against the law to batter another human being?

Unless of course, we take the step of logic that women are not in fact human beings.

LeBOF Thu 13-Oct-11 08:19:14

What can we do? There must be some way to organise and protest this.

AnnieLobeseder Thu 13-Oct-11 08:21:30

Going by the picture it looks like locals are already protesting. I hope their voices are heard.

theothersparticus Thu 13-Oct-11 08:55:03

The really stupid thing is the way the law was repealled, from jezebel.com

"When the county's budget was slashed by 10%, Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor's solution was to stop prosecuting misdemeanors in Topeka's city limits. He hoped to force the city to pick up the cost of the cases, and noted, "of greatest concern are domestic violence cases." It seems Taylor thought the city might ignore minor drug or assault cases, but wouldn't simply refuse to deal with something as serious as domestic abuse. Yet, last night city officials called his bluff and repealed its law against domestic violence.
City officials told the Associated Press that the move puts them in a better position to negotiate, and forces Taylor to prosecute the cases since they're still crimes under state law. They added that this actually helps victims, because the county courts are better funded and can offer them better services. Unfortunately, that won't make much of a difference for the 18 people whose abusers were released from jail in the past few days. The same goes for those involved in the 35 incidents of domestic battery and assault reported since September, which aren't being pursued. As Rita Smith, executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said, "It's really outrageous that they're playing with family safety to see who blinks first. People could die while they're waiting to straighten this out."

I can't belive they would play political games with peoples lives, but then again, that's typical male entitlement.

Peachy Thu 13-Oct-11 08:58:43

Oh good God above, that is horrific.

theothersparticus Thu 13-Oct-11 09:08:07

this is the link I've been looking for all morning.

"But if Topeka thinks the costs of domestic abuse will go away if it stops prosecuting, it is sure to be wrong. In the most comprehensive study to date on the costs of domestic violence to the U.S. economy, the Centers for Disease Control found in 2003 that the total cost each year is more than $8.3 billion."

Domestic violence costs even more in terms of the trauma to the victims and children that witness the abuse, who then may go on to abuse or require years of counselling.

Smellslikecatpee Thu 13-Oct-11 13:56:45

WTF!!!

I mean really I have nothing helpful to add except WTF

MsAnnTeak Thu 13-Oct-11 14:04:44

Found one of the comments left on the original article interesting :-

I live in Topeka, so I'll explain (the article is horribly misleading). There was state law and city ordinance that criminalized domestic violence. If it's tried by the DA under state law, the county pays the costs. If tried by the city under city ordinance, the city pays the fines. The county said they were turning cases over to the city. The city took away the city ordinance, so they have to be tried by the county again. No one's charges were dropped - that's totally false. The DA will be trying them. This was just political wrangling, not "Lookie, they's sayin it's ok ta beat yer woman." Everyone calm down - no one is getting away with domestic violence - geez...

theothersparticus Thu 13-Oct-11 14:07:50

and breathe

So they will proscute DV once again, but if this had gone unnoticed by worldwide media would they really had bothered?

I get the feeling that DV isn't high on their priorities, it's listed as a misdemeanor, and while I'm no expert on the American legal system, that doesn't sound all that harsh to me.

MsAnnTeak Thu 13-Oct-11 15:14:33

Having never given abcnews much credit on it's reporting I decided to go with the link given in this comment.

"The cases are moving between the county and city to determine who will prosecute (the DA will, as of now.) No one will "get off" because of this; they will be prosecuted by one or the other. As a citizen of the city and county, I can tell you what will happen. Chad Taylor (the DA) will prosecute the same as he always did, and if needed, the county commission will increase funding. Right now Taylor says he's going to lay off prosecutors, etc, but he's just strong-arming for more budget (which he'll get I'm sure). If you want to read the whole story, look up the Topeka newspaper" - http://cjonline.com

It does put a slightly different slant on the story.

skrumle Thu 13-Oct-11 16:02:43

i didn't think cjonline.com/news/2011-10-12/back-wall-prosecutor-relents gave a different slant on the story at all - this was a political game of chicken where women's safety was put at risk and 21 offenders were released because charges weren't brought.

and i'm not really understanding why you are quoting comments on news stories, it's a bit like me saying "here's what my cousin thinks:..."

MsAnnTeak Thu 13-Oct-11 16:26:19

Taylor said.

"We're queuing up all the cases piling up at the city attorney's office since Sept. 8," Taylor said. "Now we're in the position, with the opt-out or the decriminalization of domestic battery cases by the city council, to have those cases come here."

It reads to me the cases will be tried.

As for reading comments, come on, it's like saying why read anything after the intial post on a mumsnet topic as their input is worthless ?

skrumle Thu 13-Oct-11 16:46:36

i didn't say you shouldn't read the comments - i just find the extensive quoting of them odd, as though you have judged them more factually accurate than a news article.

and the cases may well be tried but 21 women had their lives put at risk when those men were released. the comment in the cjonline story about 1 of the men already being re-arrested suggested to me that he had already re-offended rather than him being re-arrested for the initial assault...

MsAnnTeak Thu 13-Oct-11 17:04:00

They put a different slant on the article, open it up to further thought and possibilities ?

Reading some of the posts it looked as if it was assumed Topek weren't going to prosecute those who were arrested for domestic violence. Upon further reading it wasn't true and seems to be they'll be tried under a law with a harsher sentence.

skrumle Thu 13-Oct-11 17:23:23

"Reading some of the posts"

you mean the posts made prior to the public change in stance by the county DA?

also - quoting other people's comments without any comment of your own makes it seem that you agree with those comments and i find the first one in particular callous and patronising. it also totally disagrees with the detail given in the article by the newspaper linked to in the second quote: "no one's charges were dropped" is not the way it reads in any of the articles i've seen.

KatAndKit Mon 17-Oct-11 20:42:22

WTF this is truly shocking.
Violence is a crime. It doesn't make it any "better" if you give it a name like domestic violence. A victim of violence has still been the victim of a crime regardless of where the violence took place.

You can surely not make domestic violence a non-crime without saying that all forms of common assault or bodily harm are therefore legal? Unless you believe that women deserve to be assaulted in their own homes?

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