Monday, October 10, 2011

How to save money: legalize wife-beating

Oh, yeah, here's a great idea from Kansas. Budget problems? Don't want to raise taxes? Well, that's simple - just make domestic violence legal:
The city could repeal an ordinance banning domestic violence because some say the cost of prosecuting those cases is just too high:
Last night, in between approving city expenditures and other routine agenda items, the Topeka, Kansas City Council debated one rather controversial one: decriminalizing domestic violence.

Here’s what happened: Last month, the Shawnee County District Attorney’s office, facing a 10% budget cut, announced that the county would no longer be prosecuting misdemeanors, including domestic violence cases, at the county level. Finding those cases suddenly dumped on the city and lacking resources of their own, the Topeka City Council is now considering repealing the part of the city code that bans domestic battery. [...]

Since the county stopped prosecuting the crimes on September 8th, it has turned back 30 domestic violence cases. Sixteen people have been arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery and then released from the county jail after charges weren’t filed. “Letting abusive partners out of jail with no consequences puts victims in incredibly dangerous positions,” said Becky Dickinson of the YWCA. “The abuser will often become more violent in an attempt to regain control.”

The YMCA also said that some survivors were afraid for their safety if the dispute wasn’t resolved soon. Town leaders and the district attorney all agree that domestic abuse cases should be prosecuted — but no one would step up to foot the bill. The city council is expected to make its decision on decriminalizing domestic violence next week, but the back-and-forth over funding has already put battered women and their families at increased risk of harm. ...

It should go without saying, but apparently doesn’t, that preventing domestic abuse is essential to promoting communities’ economic and social well-being. That the Topeka City Council would even consider such action is a heartbreaking illustration of the consequences of austerity.

Yeah, governments are always bad, right? Certainly, raising taxes is always bad. So what if men beat their wives and girlfriends? That's just God's plan.

We've been cutting taxes for decades (especially on the wealthy). And now, this "fiscal austerity" crap is really destroying our communities. Why can't we recognize that?

For that matter, why didn't they just stop prosecuting non-violent drug crimes? Now that would save a lot of money (especially if they started taxing what's now sold illegally). But no, they've got to throw battered women under the bus.

Disgusting, isn't it?

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