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Domestic Abusers Go Unpunished in Kansas City

Council to decriminalize domestic abuse to save money

I get that states are facing the worst budget crisis since the Great Depression. I really do. This economic crisis has hit home—literally—for most of the people I know, as well as my own little family. But some of the ridiculous solvency ideas that I’ve heard of really aren’t helping matters; in fact, some of them make me question who, exactly, is supposed to be helped by these supposed relief efforts.

Women have certainly been getting the short end of the stick, but what else is new? From health programs to family support services and nearly every program that women and children rely upon, cuts have been made across the board. Planned Parenthood centers have been closing across the nation from lack of funding, and now in Kansas City—a city in my own state—it’s apparently fine to abuse women in order to save a few bucks.

I’m not joking. Kansas City is considering decriminalizing domestic abuse in order to save money. Prosecuting such misdemeanors apparently costs the city so much that they’ve decided that it might be in their best interest to stop prosecuting domestic abusers. I have a question about this: if there is so much domestic abuse happening in Kansas City that it’s costing the city an arm and a leg, why the hell would you decriminalize it? How about focusing on preventing it by implementing programs in schools and health centers to teach about healthy relationships, respect, communication, and other interpersonal skills that people should know and employ?

30 cases of domestic abuse have gone ignored since last month when the city stopped prosecuting them. I wonder how many people have been beaten again—and how many of them might be children? I wonder if any miscarriages, or serious injuries, or deaths will result because the city thinks that domestic violence isn’t something worth their time and money? Some of the victims report being afraid for their safety, as they should be, since their city obviously doesn’t give a damn about them.

This is an absolutely heinous decision and I can’t even see how it’s legal.

And according to Think Progress, in the long run this will actually cost the city money, since between healthcare costs and missed work, domestic violence results in an over $5 billion cost each year. Way to encourage abuse and terror, and to further sink your budget, Kansas City! If you live there, I’d encourage a move if you can; I certainly won’t be spending any money in KC anytime soon.