Topeka Repeals Law Against Domestic Violence Due To Budget Problems

By  | 

In an unorthodox and troubling move, Topeka, Kansas repealed its law against domestic violence. Way to celebrate Domestic Violence Awareness Month guys. You’ve definitely got us talking about the issue.

Apparently, the city’s intent wasn’t be to be horrible and sickening, even if that was the outcome. They are in the middle of a budget showdown with the County District District Attorney’s Office. Both the city and the county believe that they don’t have enough room in their budgets to actually keep their citizens safe and they want the other to step up to the plate. The outcome of this political game of chicken is that 18 people charged with domestic violence were let out of jail and the 35 cases reported in September won’t be investigated at all.

Basically, the city and the county are trading out safety for fiscal austerity. And no matter how many statements either office makes claiming that they take this issue seriously or that they really aren’t saying that domestic violence is permissible, that’s the message their sending to their public. It looks like domestic violence is problem to be toyed around with or bartered, instead of a serious problem that demands attention and resources.

Domestic violence isn’t just a couple’s private issue. It’s not a personal choice. It’s crime against another person that causes serious mental, emotional and physical injury. The fact that a city could ever even think of repealing laws to protect these families is honestly nauseating.

Can we please imagine the response if a city played these kinds of political games with another law. What would the reaction be if a city legalized armed robbery? Or even petty theft? Would it still look like a budget showdown if they repealed drug laws or drunk driving limits? What about manslaughter? After all, any violent behavior can result in death.

No one would ever consider repealing these laws. Quite simply, it wouldn’t be an option. So what about domestic violence makes this acceptable? What is it about risking the safety of parents and children in their own homes that’s up for political games?

Plenty of people in this country have different ideas about the place of government in our lives. This might be the first time I’ve ever heard it argued that the safety of our citizens simply isn’t in the budget. I had no idea that protecting against violence was an expenditure we were willing to do without.

To those families with renewed fear and turmoil in their lives tonight due to a couple of stubborn and thoughtless politicians, our hopes and prayers are with you. Stay safe as best you can.