The city council of Topeka, Kan. has repealed a local law against domestic violence in a controversial move made to challenge the county's decision to stop prosecuting similar crimes in September.
The Topeka City Council and Mayor Bill Bunten approved the appeal late Tuesday, saying such cases should be handled by county or state courts, according to The Associated Press.
Last month, Kansas' Shawnee County announced it would stop prosecuting misdemeanor crimes, including domestic violence cases, due to a 10 percent budget cut that made it unfeasible. As a result, those cases were shifted to local courts. Topeka officials say the city -- the state capital -- cannot afford to prosecute them either.
As a result, the city council has legalized domestic battery in an attempt to force Shawnee County to pick up the cost.
The AP reports that about 12 dozen protesters picketed the Shawnee County Courthouse on Tuesday, where the office of District Attorney Chad Taylor is located.
So Far, About 35 Domestic Violence Cases Turned-Back
Shawnee County has turned away approximately 35 domestic violence cases since it stopped prosecuting them on Sept. 8 and at least 16 alleged offenders have been arrested and then released from county jail after no charges were filed.
Taylor told The AP he considered employee furloughs and every angle before making his announcement in early September.
We never wanted this to happen, he said. I never thought we'd be at this point.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that one in every four women will experience domestic violence in their life and most cases of the crime are never reported to the police. The effects of domestic battery can be devastating for every member of a family. Boys are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children if they witness abuse as children, according to NCADV, while witnessing violence between one's parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor for transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.