Topeka, Kan. – The House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee is working on legislation that lawmakers hope could reduce domestic violence in Kansas. The measure would add new ways to identify domestic abusers.
Currently, domestic abusers can be charged with domestic battery. If the legislation becomes law, other crimes could have the designation of domestic violence added. This would include crimes like destruction of property if the victim and the offender had a relationship.
Representative Pat Colloton - a Leawood Republican - chairs the House Corrections Committee and says she hopes adding the domestic violence tag will help identify repeat offenders.
"What we're trying to accomplish with this bill is give law enforcement from the police all the way through the court the information that yes, this is someone who has been engaged in domestic violence in the past," says Colloton.
The legislation would also require a domestic offender evaluation in certain cases. The evaluation could recommend counseling, with the hope of reducing the number of repeat offenders.