domestic violence

First, with more than 5,000 "honor killings" occurring around the world every year, violence against women is a widespread problem with no single solution. Then, we hear both sides of upcoming ballot initiatives that propose a new public safety tax in Johnson County, and a new levy in Kansas City, Missouri, that would fund a light rail network. Finally, the most recent installment of A Fan's Notes.

Brook Ward / Flickr-CC

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill has already made an impression on the field just four games into his rookie season. But it’s his past off the field that has drawn the Chiefs into the controversy concerning how the NFL deals with players who commit domestic violence.

The NFL has been under fire for how it handles its domestic abuse offenders. The controversy surfaced in Kansas City on the NFL Draft’s second day last April when the Chiefs chose Tyreek Hill in the fifth round.

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Misdemeanor assault convictions for domestic violence were enough to invoke a federal ban on firearms, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday.

Annie Sturby is the community safety assessment coordinator for the Kansas City-based Rose Brooks Center. She works with police, prosecutors and others in the community who interact with victims of domestic abuse.

Rarely do women ask for help obtaining a gun of their own, Sturby says.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon came to Kansas City Wednesday to sign legislation strengthening laws against human trafficking.

“We tend to think of human trafficking as something that happens in a distant, undeveloped country,” Nixon said. “But the tragic reality is, right here in the United States, human trafficking is a real and growing problem.”

KCAVP

Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Congress voted in 2013 to require domestic abuse service providers who receive federal funds to offer help to people in same-sex relationships. But many advocates say LGBT people still have far fewer resources available to them than what’s traditionally been available for woman escaping violence from men. To help fill that gap, the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project opened a center earlier this year in Westport to provide support for LGBT people living in the Great Plains region. But the group’s executive director, Justin Shaw, tells KCUR’s Alex Smith that there’s still a lot of unwillingness – both inside and outside the community – to face up to the problem.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Speaking Monday at an event to raise awareness about child abuse, Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté brought a prop to prove his point.

“This is an extension cord,” Forté says. “People actually get so-called ‘disciplined’ with extension cords. Some of the people I was raised with, they still think it’s OK.”

That’s a problem, Forté says. When abuse is normalized, kids who were abused grow up to be abusers.

“If I beat you with this and I do other things with this over and over again, I can predict the outcome,” says Forté. “I can write the end of that story.”

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Kansas City Mayor Sly James recited a list of wins for the city at a press conference Wednesday.

In 2007 in Cleveland, Johanna Orozco was raped and shot in the jaw by her ex-boyfriend. Coverage of the shooting inspired new legislation in Ohio targeting teen-on-teen violence and a play based on Johanna's experience. Steve Kraske speaks with the journalist who covered the event and the playwright of "Johanna: Moving Forward."

Guests:

Selena Jabara / University of Kansas Medical Center

They wobbled across carpet, braved cracked sidewalks and even scaled a flight of stairs in high heels for the American Medical Women’s Association’s “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event.

Twenty-six University of Kansas Medical Center students and faculty, all male, strapped on heels and marched a mile around the campus Tuesday, marking the fourth anniversary of Walk-A-Mile. The event raises money to benefit the Rose Brooks Center, a domestic violence shelter, in Kansas City, Missouri.

  The Kansas House is looking at a bill that would make it a crime for attackers to try to strangle their victims, but just how strong the punishments will be is causing friction between those who work with the victims of domestic violence and lawmakers. On this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske talks to a forensic nurse examiner and a state legislator about how non-fatal strangulation will be handled in courts. 

Guests:

Dave Ranney / Heartland Health Monitor

 Last year, more than 25,000 women and children spent time in one of the 29 domestic violence shelters in Kansas. A few men did as well.

“These are just the ones we know about,” said Joyce Grover, executive director of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.

Between 2009 and 2013, law enforcement officials in Kansas investigated nearly 96,000 reports of domestic violence, resulting in 68,000 arrests.

Twenty years after the Violence Against Women Act, the Ray Rice scandal has prompted new conversations about domestic violence. What don't most people understand, from the outside looking in? And who decides what's best for victims?

Guests:

Kansas City, Mo., toughened its protections against domestic violence Thursday, giving city prosecutors the power to take violators of ex parte orders of protection to court.

The ordinance was back on the floor after a revision to address Councilman Ed Ford's insistence that it be modified to make it clear that persons could only be prosecutors if they had received notice of the protection order. He still objected that the revised ordinance could make it difficult for estranged couples to communicate about children or other important matters.

Updated Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Kansas City City Council is seeking to further curb domestic violence by letting the municipal courts enforce orders made by judges without all parties present, also known as ex parte orders.

The ordinance the public safety committee approved Wednesday makes violating any ex-parte order a municipal offense.

A University of Kansas professor's recent research at a domestic violence shelter indicates that the way survivors must tell their stories in order to gain access to resources could be working against the emotional recovery process.

J. Star / Flickr-CC

Domestic abuse isn’t a new problem, but a recent study about it may surprise you. It turns out that the victims suffer high rates of chronic illnesses.

In the first part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we discuss why that is and take a critical look at the resources available for domestic abuse victims in Kansas City and what’s missing from the conversation when it comes to improving the options available.

photo by dan verbeck

U.S. Attorneys from Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa will gather next week for a conference centered on domestic violence and sexual assault in Indian Country. 

U.S. Attorney for Kansas Barry Grissom says the statistics on violence against women and girls in tribal communities can only be described as shocking.