KS: Domestic Violence Report Released Reveal Startling Details


Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] A Human Rights Issue-Custodial Justice.


Domestic violence report released

By Liz Zamora

Domestic violence in Kansas


VIDEO: Report gives startling details about domestic violence in Kansas

Just looking through the Shawnee County Court Docket, there were 14 cases of domestic battery before judges Wednesday, not including all the hearings on orders of protection. And just to show how common domestic violence is in the State of Kansas, a State coalition put together a two-year study detailing victims of these violent crimes.

"I was definitely scared for my life." Tara Balch recalls that night she was brutally beaten earlier this spring during an argument with a man she was dating at the time.

She says she had bruises all over her face and body and even had a chunks of hair ripped out of her head.

"I knew if I didn't run that I wouldn't make it out alive," Balch added.

According to the report just released by the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, Balch is one of the lucky ones. From 2004 to 2006, 21 people were killed by their partners in the State of Kansas. Out of those, five were men. One was self defense.

Executive Director of the Coalition, Sandy Barnett, pointed out some of the findings of the two-year study.

"Women have been shot to death, beaten to death, and strangled to death," said Barnett.

And though 70 percent of the victims were found to be women, they came from all walks of life and financial background.

"Victims have been professional women and college students and retirees. They have ranged in age from 14 to 72," Barnett said.

Tara Balch says she is grateful to see more light shed on the subject through this report. She hopes the information helps to remove the badge of blame she says others place upon her and those like her. "The stigma is against the victim and not the attacker," Balch said. "I had no idea that it was like that. It was so shocking to me."

According to the Director of the YWCA Battered Women's Task Force, just last year they helped 124 women and 95 children find a safe place to stay. And they provided counseling to more than 1,400 victims.

Related Links

Take a look at the newly released report on fatal domestic violence on Kansas women, and learn about services for victims.

'Beyond Statistics: Lethal Domestic and Sexual Violence Against Women in Kansas'
Topeka Cares for Victims - Links to services for victims

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