Topeka City Council Considering Decriminalizing Domestic Violence; DA Stops Prosecuting Misdemeanor DV Cases in Topeka Due to Budget Cuts

During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, when programs helping victims are calling on their communities to send the message that domestic violence will not be tolerated, Topeka, Kansas City Council is considering decriminalizing domestic battery in order to save money.

The Topeka City Council is butting heads with Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor, who announced Sept. 8 that due to budget cuts, his office would no longer prosecute misdemeanor cases, including domestic violence cases, in Topeka. This change left it to the City of Topeka to enforce its ordinance against domestic battery.

If the City Council repeals the ordinance, battering cases will no longer be prosecuted in Topeka unless the district attorney reconsiders.

In the meantime, victims of violence are in grave danger. Already, since Sept. 8, the district attorney has rejected at least 30 domestic violence cases. Eighteen people arrested in Topeka for domestic battery have all been released from county jail when no charges were filed.