2009 sees record number of DV deaths in KS
WICHITA, Kansas – A sobering statistic is ringing home this holiday season as a record 45 Kansans have died this year as a result of domestic violence. And while a move is underway to help curb that number, experts are warning this time of year can be dangerous.
Recently in Osage County, a 46-year-old man has been charged with killing four in a domestic violence incident. Some wonder if the signs of abuse could have been caught sooner.
“The sooner you recognize you're in a domestic violence relationship, the sooner you can get out,” said Chryle Nofsinger-Wiens with YWCA Wichita.
This year alone 32 adults and 13 children have all died in domestic violence crimes. It’s the biggest number in nearly two decades. Most who live with domestic violence know something is wrong and experts say this time of year with the holidays and unemployment on the rise the cases of domestic violence are on the rise as well.
“Let's face it, we all fall in love with a person for a reason,” Nofsinger-Wiens said. “We don't fall in love with them because they're abusive. That abuse grows over time. It's a pattern.”
While the number of domestic violence incidents has climbed, so has the death toll
Awareness in Topeka is on the legislative front. House Bill 2335 is now proposed. It’s a domestic violence tag that would require batterers to have all their legal documents tagged with the term ‘Domestic Violence Offender’.
It’s named after Jana Mackey, a KU law student killed in domestic violence. She had actually been a crusader to stop violence and her death serves as a reminder that anyone can be a victim.
“I think we're raised to always believe the best of people and we're not automatically going to go there,” said Nofsinger-Wiens said. “And think that, ‘oh I may be dating an abuser,’ we just don't think that way.”
If you think you or a friend could be or could become a victim of domestic violence, there is help out there. The YWCA has a simple quiz to recognize the signs and get help. To take that quiz click on Newslinks to be linked to the YWCA Web site.