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.