Harvey County KANSAS: Domestic violence cases up 55 percent


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


Domestic violence cases up 55 percent in Harvey County KS: “Some women may want to leave the situation, but all wo.. http://bit.ly/3NWJxc

Domestic violence cases up 55 percent in Harvey County


By Cristina Janney

Newton Kansan

Posted Nov 04, 2009 @ 10:24 AM


Offender/Victim Ministries of Newton is working toward creating a Batterer Intervention Program, which they hope will help address sharp increases in domestic violence during the last year.

Jan Jones, executive director of the Harvey County Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Task Force, said reports of domestic violence have increased 55 percent in Harvey County in the last year.

The task force has worked with more than 350 victims and their families in the last three months.

“There is a big cost to all of the community. It costs the family itself, and there is a cost to the community as a whole,” she said.

The batterers would be involved in classes for a minimum of 26 weeks.

Batterer is the term given to offenders who commit domestic violence.

This also can include psychological, emotional or physical abuse that one partner uses to control the other.

Libby Schrag, executive director of OVM, said OVM terminated the former program in 2005 in order to create a new program that would meet new national standards in the field.

Schrag has received board approval to move forward with the program and contacted the Kansas attorney general’s office about which model OVM will use.

Members of the domestic violence task force have been training with the attorney general’s office to create Coordinated Community Response Teams. These teams would include members from the task force, the Batterers Intervention Program and community corrections and would work with families affected by domestic violence.

“To help the victim and her family,” Jones said, “you have to provide structure and support for batterer and the family as a whole.”

The participants in the Batterer Intervention Program likely will be court ordered and pay a sliding fee for each class they attend.

Charging for the class not only helps cover the cost of the program but helps the offenders take responsibility for their actions, Schrag said.

Working with batterers is all about changing attitudes, Schrag said.

“These men can control their anger in many other arenas, but they choose not to control it at home. The key is in changing a whole mindset,” she said.

Jones said she agreed anger management alone will not solve the domestic violence problem. She said she was excited OVM was pursuing a certified Batterer Intervention Program.

The Harvey County Safe House goes a long way to help victims of domestic violence, but Schrag said the violence doesn’t end unless issues with the batterer are addressed.

“They will go on to a new relationship or continue to battery the women that left,” Schrag said. “Some women may want to leave the situation, but all women want the battery to end.”

Funding continues to be tight for the task force and OVM.

Community support for the task force has been cut by 40 percent, and federal and state funding has been cut drastically, Jones said.

OVM is looking for gifts or grants from community organizations to get the Batterer Intervention Program started.

It will need $5,000 to $10,000 to get the program up and running.

To donate or for more information on the program, call OVM at 283-2038.

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