From Times Up!!
By Susan Murphy Milano
In Topeka, Kansas on October 11, 2011, members of the City Council voted and successfully repealed the city's ordinance banning domestic violence during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Talk about a punch, a kick and slap for victims of intimate partner violence by city government’s financial misconduct as their excuse for not wanting to do their jobs. At the center of dysfunction, the absent District Attorney Chad Taylor, who is refusing to prosecute domestic violence crimes in the city.
During the two hour televised council meeting, the one sided discussion from 7 of the 10 elected members amounted to nothing more than political finger pointing. Leading the charge, and ultimately dictating the vote, was Interim City Manager Dan Stanley, brow beating those during the hearing into submission of his way or the highway. It was classic manipulation "101" presented in a live stream real time format.
According to National Advocate, organizer and expert Claudine Dombrowski, inattendance at the City Council meeting, “I witnessed the Council of elected officialssupport the decriminalization of domestic violence within the city limits of Topeka and berate speakers, who were survivors and victims. The elected council members temper tantrums during the meeting and finger pointing were disgusting.”
Approximately 24 years ago, after years of lobbying by victims, advocates and families of those slain by their partner, legislation was signed by Governors nation-wide making domestic violence a crime. The pen used to sign the bill, was not filled with ink, but the blood of all those who lives were lost at the hands of those professing to love them.
This "stunt" today will cost Topeka more than the mere 10% budget shortfall cited by city officials as the reason not to prosecute. Expect an increase in intimate partner related missing persons cases (providing they will still be allowed to make a report) and count on more funerals for those victims whom the police did not respond.
This certainly gives new meaning to creating prevention and awareness duringNational Domestic Violence Awareness Month, doesn't it?
· “16,800 homicides (that are reported) attributed to intimate partner homicide per year, 2.2 million medically treated injuries costing $37 BILLION per year.[i] [CDH1]
· The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion dollars each year; $4.1 billion of which is for medical and mental health services.”[ii]
· Almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.[iii]
· In 70-80% of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.[iv] [CDH2]
· Less than one-fifth of victims reporting an injury from intimate partner violence sought medical treatment following the injury. [v][CDH3]
· Intimate partner violence results in more than 18.5 million mental health care visits each year.[vi]
[i] NCDAV reporting sourced from: The Cost of Violence in the United States. 2007. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GAhttp://www.ncadv.org/files/DomesticViolenceFactSheet(National).pdf
[ii] NCDAV reporting sourced from: The Cost of Violence in the United States. 2007. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA
[iii] Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports “Crime in the United States, 2000,” (2001)
[iv] NCDAV report sourced from: Campbell, et al. (2003). “Assessing Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Homicide.” Intimate Partner Homicide, NIJ Journal, 250, 14-19. Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice
[v] U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Intimate Partner Violence in the United States,” December 2006
[vi] Costs of Intimate Partner Violence against Women in the United States. 2003.
Susan Murphy Milano is a staff member of the Institute for Relational HarmReduction 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 atManagement 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.