Cash-Strapped Topeka Decriminalizes Domestic Violence

Faced with budget cuts, cash-strapped Topeka, Kansas made the shocking move to repeal their city ordinance banning domestic battery as a cost-cutting measure. Their city council voted 7 to 3 yesterday to repeal the local law that makes domestic violence a crime. Seriously.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported assistant city attorney Catherine Walter said Tuesday’s repeal wouldn’t “decriminalize” domestic violence in Topeka, because it is “banned by state law and would remain a crime here.” However, according to the The New York Times, 18 people have been arrested on domestic violence charges since September and released without charges “because no agency is accepting new cases.” “One of the offenders was even arrested and released twice” the Kansas City Star reported.

WIth no local agency to uphold the law, Topeka has been forced to set domestic violence offenders free with no charges against them.

The feminist blogosphere was up in arms over the city’s decision. Feministing’s Maya Dusenbery said, “The message has already been heard loud and clear: Not one, not two, but three arms of government in Topeka don’t care enough about prosecuting domestic violence to pay for it unless they are absolutely, positively, back-against-the-wall forced to.”

Watch Fox4KC’s news coverage of the controversy:

(h/t NYTimes)

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