PLEASE COMMENT ON ORIGINAL ARTICLE! We need OUTRAGE to stop this political game playing at the expense of women.
Right now in Topeka Kansas—DOMESTIC VIOLENCE is LEGAL. Since last week’s decision of the County DA to stop prosecuting Domestic Violence in the city limits, there have been 35 Domestic Violence arrests that have WALKED with no charges!
The City manager is considering a repeal in the City Ordinances that Domestic Violence is NOT A CRIME within the city. http://bit.ly/nCxc5M
16 years after enduring constant physical abuse, the memories still shake Claudine Dombrowski to the core. She says, "I was beaten with a crowbar, it was a misdemeanor. I've had both my wrist broken and it was a misdemeanor."
When Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor decided to hand over misdemeanor cases, like Dombrowski's, to the city, she knew it would weigh heaviest on victims of domestic violence. Knowing the consequences a victim could face when the abuser is arrested, then released, she advises victims not to call the police. She says, "You, as a survivor, know how to survive. You just keep surviving. If you call the police right now, and God forbid you end up with the city, you might die."
Dombrowski says she's disgusted at how poorly survivors are treated after making the terrifying decision to call authorities. She says community leaders see it as, "Let's put these victims in with weed control and dog at large and parking tickets. That's how important you are to our community."
Dombrowski says the word "misdemeanor" has such a harmless connotation and wishes people knew the horrible actions hiding behind it. She says, "I was pushed through plate glass windows and if I had not been in a relationship with this man, he would be in prison."
If the city does decide to take on the domestic abuse cases, Dombrowski hopes it's only until funding can be restored at the District Attorney's office. She says, "We've just jumped back 30 years into the dark ages, and it's very dark. The lights just went out in Topeka."
She says many times the misdemeanor charges get reduced to disorderly conduct and destruction of personal property, and she can't imagine how easy the abusers will have it in city courts. Dowbrowski says you can help domestic violence victims of Topeka by demanding more money for the District Attorney's office, so they can continue to protect the public.
Wednesday morning, Topeka Interim City Manager Dan Stanley said there is some thought being given to repealing the city ordinances to force the prosecution back on the county. He says it will then be up to the D.A. to prioritize what cases should be prosecuted.
Stanley says he's concerned about what will happen to the individuals whose cases are not being prosecuted. He says, "We know of three cases where judges have released the people accused of domestic violence back out because it their understanding that the district attorney will not prosecute and so there may be more of these."
Topeka Police Officers are forwarding misdemeanor cases involving domestic violence to the District Attorney's Office. Stanley says the D.A.'s office has already turned away 30 cases. He believes the victims and their families are most affected.