TOPEKA — A number one advocate in opposition to home violence says cases of abuse proceed to develop in frequency as COVID-19 isolates victims and limits assets.
Kathleen Marker, CEO of YWCA Northeast Kansas, stated previously three years, 14 of 55 homicides recorded by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation have been the end result of home violence. As well as, she stated the suicide fee in Topeka was additionally concerningly excessive, rising by as a lot as 140% in January.
For the reason that early months of the pandemic, home violence has spiked sharply in Kansas and throughout the nation. In 2020, there have been 281 circumstances of home violence in Shawnee County, greater than double the variety of circumstances reported in 2016.
Listening to the tales of survivors is one option to transfer ahead, Marker stated.
“We now have to domesticate hope by uplifting the tales of braveness and power and resilience whereas taking concrete actions,” she stated throughout a rally Friday on the Statehouse. “We now have to appropriate the foundation causes of disparity in our neighborhood. We now have to proceed elevating our voices and demanding a safer future for survivors at present and day by day.”
About 75 individuals gathered on the south steps of the Capitol to affix Marker and others in demanding motion to raised deal with home violence and abuse. The gathering was a part of a collection of occasions within the YWCA’s Week With out Violence.
Earlier this week, Kansas Reflector and KAKE Information in Wichita printed a collaborative investigative report demonstrating the extent of the home abuse epidemic in Sedgwick County, which had extra offenses than these reported in Johnson, Wyandotte, Douglas, Leavenworth, Riley, Reno and Saline counties mixed.
Amongst these whose lives have been jarred by a home violence-related murder is LaTonya Boyd. On Oct. 13, 2009, her daughter, Tyesha McNair, was shot and killed by her ex-partner and abuser after she determined to go away the connection.
Boyd has been a presence at the Statehouse within the years since, advocating for adjustments to restrict potential or earlier abusers from entry to weapons.
“Day-after-day, I’ve to recollect to get off the bed, put my pants on and do one thing optimistic, as my daughter would need me to reside,” Boyd stated. “We have to maintain these abusers accountable for the actions that they commit, and we have to maintain our lawmakers accountable for these legal guidelines that they’ve made or that they select to make.”
House Bill 2251, which might have required relinquishment of firearms in cases of home violence, obtained a listening to in March, however the committee took no motion on the invoice.
Senate Minority Chief Dinah Sykes stated the passage of a distinct invoice granting reciprocity for hid carry licenses might show lethal as a result of gun legal guidelines are completely different in every state. She additionally criticized the introduction of payments she stated would foster discrimination based mostly on gender.
“I don’t need to take away their weapons, however I do need accountable, common sense legal guidelines that shield girls and kids from gun violence,” Sykes stated.