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.