KCUR News
2:30 am
Fri August 22, 2008

Kansas City Council Passes Domestic Violence Ordinance

Kansas City, Mo. – The Kansas City council passed a domestic violence ordinance Thursday that makes it a municipal crime to violate an order of protection... but not without a dissenting voice.

Councilman Ed Ford had some surprise last-minute objections. He said state courts are doing a good job of handling protection order cases... and that the city measure would put the matter of whether a former abuser could come back into the home in the hands of prosecutors and victims' advocates, not in the hands of the women, who sometimes need to make decisions based on financial necessity.

Beth Gottstein responded that that is exactly why the city needs the ordinance: "Living in fear already, you've got economic challenges, there's all sorts of scenarios that compel you to consider staying with the abuser or returning to the abuser. It's absolutely crucial we have policies -- rules in place that level the playing field."

Ford's was the only dissenting vote.