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Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Costs of Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

DVA symbol


Something to keep in mind as we post here examples of domestic violence using firearms.

To better acquaint our readers with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, here is some information from the Domestic Violence Awareness Project:

The Domestic Violence Awareness Project...

In 1995, the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) convened several national domestic violence organizations – the Family Violence Prevention Fund, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and later the National Network to End Domestic Violence – to launch a new effort to support domestic violence programs’ awareness and education efforts for Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), observed annually in October. The collaborative effort became the Domestic Violence Awareness Project (DVAP). Today, the DVAP is a diverse and unique partnership of local, tribal, state, and national domestic violence organizations and networks. The DVAP collaborates to collect, develop, and distribute resources and ideas relevant to advocates’ ongoing public and prevention awareness and education efforts not only in preparation for DVAM, but also throughout the year.
The work of the DVAP strives to creatively bring to life its statement of purpose:
The Domestic Violence Awareness Project (DVAP) supports the rights of all individuals, especially women and girls, to live in peace and dignity.  Violence and all other forms of oppression against all communities and families must be eliminated.  The purpose of the DVAP is to support and promote the national, tribal, territorial, state, and local advocacy networks in their ongoing public education efforts through public awareness, strategies, materials, resources, capacity-building, and technical assistance.
These strategies include campaigns that address the victimization of women throughout their lifespan.  The voices, leadership, and expertise of women who have been battered are acknowledged as critical and necessary components of these campaigns.  To change belief systems and practices that support violence and abuse that disproportionately affects women, and other marginalized people, the DVAP recognizes and promotes the participation of the entire community in building social intolerance towards domestic violence.  We will use our diverse and collective voice to promote safe, respectful, and equitable relationships; increase survivor’s access to support systems that are culturally and linguistically appropriate; and foster programming that is responsive to the needs of the LGBTQ community, as well as survivors of abuse in later life. 
©2009 Domestic Violence Awareness Project
3605 Vartan Way, Suite 101 - Harrisburg, PA 17110
800-537-2238 ext. 5
717-545-9456 (fax)
The Domestic Violence Awareness Month Project is coordinated by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, a project of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Vilolence.

To better put this in perspective was this article I came across from Topeka, Kansas from 'TheWeek.com':

Legalizing domestic violence: Topeka's 'terrible' plan to save money

Just in time for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Kansas' capital city is on the verge of decriminalizing domestic battery as part of a budget standoff

Due to budget cuts, domestic violence cases may no longer be prosecuted in Topeka, Kan., potentially sending a "terrible message" to victims of domestic battery.
Due to budget cuts, domestic violence cases may no longer be prosecuted in Topeka, Kan., potentially sending a "terrible message" to victims of domestic battery. Photo: Gaetano/Corbis SEE ALL 24 PHOTOS
The Topeka City Council will decide next week whether to essentially legalize domestic violence in the Kansas capital, in a budgetary game of chicken with Shawnee County, which encompasses Topeka. The fight started when Shawnee District Attorney Chad Taylor, facing a 10 percent budget cut for next year, announced Sept. 8 that his office would no longer prosecute misdemeanor cases, including those involving domestic violence, inside Topeka city limits. The City Council is betting that if it strikes Topeka's ordinance against domestic battery, it will force Taylor to reconsider. Here's what you should know:
What happens if Topeka follows through?If the City Council repeals the domestic-battery ordinance, municipal courts wouldn't be able to take on those cases, effectively sending the ball back to Taylor's court. Domestic violence is still a state crime. But "because only Taylor has authority to decide what cases he files and prosecutes," domestic violence prosecution could slow to a trickle, says The Topeka Capital-Journal in an editorial. Repeat offenders are charged as felons, and the D.A. would still take those cases.
How bad could this get?Already, the standoff is putting victims in grave danger "in the world that does not exist inside of an Excel spreadsheet," says Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezebel. Taylor has rejected at least 30 domestic violence cases since Sept. 8, and the 18 people arrested in Topeka for domestic battery have all been released from county jail because no charges were filed. And even if Taylor eventually blinks, and decides to resume prosecuting first-time offenders, the City Council's decriminalization of domestic violence would still send "a terrible message to victims of domestic battery and the entire community," says The Topeka Capital-Journal's editorial board.
How dire is the financial situation?In 2012, the D.A.'s office expects to see $347,765 cut from its budget — which is $3.5 million this year. Of course, if nobody takes these domestic violence cases, it could save some money in the short run, says Marie Diamond at ThinkProgress. But domestic violence has "staggering financial consequences" — medical costs, for instance. There are bigger human costs, too, says Topeka victims' advocate Claudine Dombrowski. If the city and county keep up this "disgusting" fight, "they need to invest in headstones, because these women are going to end up in cemeteries."
Who should shoulder the blame?Everyone involved says they believe domestic violence needs to be prosecuted vigorously, but that they can't pay for it, says Maya Dusenbery at Feministing. And "it’s hard to blame them too harshly for that," given the deep budget cuts hitting states and cities. "Thanks, austerity!" Maybe, says National Organization for Women's Kari Ann Rinker. But right now, local officials are just "finger-pointing and blaming" like 5-year-old children, and they all deserve "some amount of blame" for putting women at undue risk.
Sources: Feministing, Fox 4 Kansas City, The Frisky, Jezebel, Mother Jones, ThinkProgress, Topeka Capital-Journal (2,3,4)

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