Thursday, October 13, 2011

Action Alert: Never Again! What just happened in Kansas?

In September, Taylor announced that due to budget cuts he would no longer prosecute DV misdemeanors, which essentially decriminalized domestic violence and left abused women with severely limited legal protections. After an outcry from domestic violence advocates, including a strong response by KCSDV, the DA reversed his original position and said he would restart prosecuting DV at the county level.

Read Topeka’s announcement on Tuesday in the New York Times (10/11) and Taylor’s response on ABC News (10/12).

If you live in Kansas, read your legal protections on, contact a local shelter or write to our Email Hotline for individual support.

WomensLaw and NNEDV remain committed to ending violence against women. NNEDV President Sue Else stated, “It is unconscionable to attempt to balance budgets on the backs of victims of domestic violence, putting them in greater danger of serious injury or death. Holding perpetrators of domestic violence accountable is a cornerstone of public health and safety. We urge the local government to fully fund the prosecution of all domestic violence cases today. We cannot afford to wait."



October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). It is the month to remember the 1 in every 4 women who are abused by an intimate partner and the month to speak up about the issue! Now, more than ever, is the time to raise awareness that domestic violence still exists. At WomensLaw, a project of NNEDV, we are committed to doing just that: providing easy-to-understand legal information, responding to requests for help through the Email Hotline, and keeping you up-to-date with DV news through our blog, Twitter and Facebook pages. Thanks to the great efforts by similar organizations, this October stands out as a particularly informative month about domestic violence awareness. Many advocates and supporters are wearing purple, joining in rallies and marches, President Obama spoke about raising awareness, and Anderson Cooper did a television special. And there’s still over half of the month to go!

How can you support DVAM? Here are some ideas:

No matter which option you choose, you’ll be taking an incredibly important step in fighting to end DV. Despite all of this progress, there is still work to be done. The recent proposal to decriminalize domestic violence in Topeka, KS is a reminder of why raising awareness about domestic violence is so important. (Read more about domestic violence prosecution in Kansas on the New York Times and Huffington Post.) Domestic violence affects people’s lives every day.

Which leads us to the most important part, the reason we need to restart this blog: while devoting a month to raising awareness is something to be celebrated, our efforts cannot stop on October 31. Follow WomensLaw Reports as we highlight legal information, ways to find help for yourself or a loved one, and news about community organizations working to end DV. WomensLaw Reports will look at different parts of the movement to end violence against women, starting by featuring community events devoted to DVAM. November will bring a different focus. For now, we plan on wearing purple and working to ensure that officials in Topeka know we will stand together in the fight to end domestic violence.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snapshot of Domestic Violence Services Across the U.S.

A new survey conducted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) reveals telling information about domestic violence services in the U.S. On September 15, 2010 – one 24-hour period – domestic violence victim advocates served more than 70,000 adults and children and answered more than 20,000 emergency hotline calls. During the same 24 hours, more than 9,000 requests for services went unmet, largely due to lack of funding.

Though the economy does not cause domestic violence, factors associated with economic uncertainties can increase the severity and frequency of abuse. At the same time, options for survivors to escape can be more limited. More than 80 percent of local domestic violence programs reported an increased demand for their services while nearly the same number reported decreases in funding.

“The economy is exacerbating domestic violence, and victim advocates across the country are struggling to do more with less,” said Sue Else, president of NNEDV. “Despite the immense challenges, local programs are providing life-saving services to so many survivors of domestic and sexual violence.”

Each year, NNEDV conducts a 24-hour survey of local domestic violence programs. In addition to the number of victims served, more than 30,000 individuals attended 1,240 training sessions provided by local domestic violence programs to help prevent violence.

Across the nation on September 15, 2010, three women were murdered by their intimate partners. Thirty-six babies were born to mothers living in domestic violence shelters. Three-hundred-ninety-one survivors started new jobs. Three men committed suicide – one after murdering his wife, another after a failed attempt to kill his girlfriend, and the third after holding his partner hostage and a standoff with the police.

In 2010, 1,747 local domestic violence programs, or 91 percent, submitted their 24-hour counts for September 15. The full National Domestic Violence Counts 2010 are available online at