Wednesday, October 12, 2011

News that makes Erica mad

In case you all don't remember, it's October, and that means that in the US it's Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Cities all over the country are holding events to raise awareness about this issue and to support those who have survived intimate partner abuse.

Unless, of course, you're in Topeka, in which case you get a giant middle finger. Metaphorically, that is, although I'm sure there will be literal cases of flipping off too.

What's the issue, you ask? In essence, the city has voted to repeal its misdemeanor domestic battery law in favour of forcing the state to prosecute partner abuse cases instead. The decision came about as a result of cuts to the budget for the county district attorney, which resulted in the DA choosing to cease prosecution of partner abuse cases under state law and let the city handle them under city law. So when the city chooses to repeal its law making partner abuse a misdemeanor, what happens then? Theoretically, the county prosecutor picks the cases right back up again, although I'm still trying to figure out how the ending of the city law magically restores the funding to the county prosecution budget and thus ends the whole fiasco. If no magic wand does the job, though, then we're looking at a very real possibility that the DA won't be able to pick up the slack and keep people safe from their abusers. Already, offenders are being turned loose in some sick version of catch and release.

It all boils down to a giant fucking game of chicken, and I'm very worried that it's going to get someone killed.

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