Topeka decriminalizes “light” wife-beating
In a bit of news that will no doubt cause rejoicing amongst "men's rights activists", Topeka, KS has decriminalized wife-beating. In case that is hard to register, let me repeat: it is now basically legal to beat your wife in Topeka. If this fuckwittery isn't halted quickly, I expect that the Topeka airport will have to start booking a whole lot more flights to Russia and Thailand, as they experience a surge in new residents who have a strong interest in acquiring mail order brides. Just make sure not to have any more "Ladies Nights" at the bars, Topeka, because your new residents really hate to see bitches get half-priced drinks while they're in the club, trying to get with women half their age using tried! and! true! "pick-up artist" techniques.
All jokes aside, this new decision by Topeka is intensely dangerous. The rationale for it is they don't have the money to prosecute domestic violence cases any longer, and because of this, they're basically letting abusers go home to their victims, no doubt filled with rage that said bitches dared called the cops on them in the first place.
In the month since new prosecutions of domestic violence stopped in Topeka, there have been at least 35 reported cases of domestic battery or assault, and 18 people jailed have been released without facing charges.
What happened is that Topeka stopped enforcing misdemeanors, and as long as you make sure to beat your wife without a weapon, domestic violence is a misdemeanor in Topeka. Not that I'm weighing in on what kind of crime is should be classified as, of course, but when it comes to domestic violence, it's really a piss-poor idea to just ignore it when it happens in the early "no weapon" stages. As any expert on this could tell you, abusers tend to escalate the abuse over time. They see how far they can go without consequences, and if there aren't any, they up the ante, often with an end goal of basically beating any remaining will or autonomy out of their victims. The earlier in the process they face consequences, often the easier it is for a victim to escape. If there's one place where "broken windows" theory absolutely can be shown to work, it's with domestic violence.
I realize that prosecuting domestic violence is a really frustrating thing to do. Often, victims refuse to testify and plead with the police to drop charges. But that's all the more reason to do it; often inducing a separation between abuser and victim gives the victim time to, for lack of a better term, snap out of it. Certainly, it keeps the abuser away from her while he's steaming with rage that she dared to call the cops (they often also feel it was her fault for "starting" it, an explanation that comes up frequently on "men's rights" forums). Being consistent with consequences works to stop domestic violence; according to Bill Scher's reading of the federal government's crime statistics, the Violence Against Women Act—which emphasizes outreach to victims and swift consequences for abusers—has led to a 50% drop in non-fatal domestic assaults, and a 20% drop in domestic murders. (This sudden shift towards real consequences for abuse is, I believe, just as much an instigator for the expansion of the "men's rights" movement as is the internet.) Interestingly, the drop in female-on-male murders was more dramatic, mostly because enforcing domestic violence laws gives victims the option to leave, and they don't get so desperate that they shoot their abusers. You rarely see such a stellar example of how enforcing the law can cause a dramatic drop in crime, and yet, here Topeka is giving up on doing what we know works. I can't help but think indifference to women's safety is feeding this, as is the heavy influence of fundamentalist Christian teachings that domestic violence is the victim's fault for being inadequately submissive, as well as so-called libertarian influences that would have the government butt out, allowing men to treat women like property.