His story appeared with this eye-catching title:
Topeka Kansas Considers Decriminalizing Domestic Violence
Now that is a troubling headline, eh?
A community that would allow domestic violence?
And Mr. Cain's article appears convincing in stating that domestic violence enforcement is on the chopping-block in Topeka.
That is at least on the surface.
Here is an excerpt:
In Topeka, Kansas city officials are considering a controversial move to decriminalize domestic violence in the city after the Shawnee County government offloaded domestic violence enforcement on to city governments. Cities facing budget cuts and lost revenue are turning to many different cost-cutting measures, but this is perhaps the most extreme.
Already, the county government has turned away at least 30 domestic violence cases.
Most domestic violence cases go unreported. Decriminalizing domestic violence will simply push these cases further into the shadows.
Considering that marital rape was legal in almost every state until 1976, perhaps this is simply an illustration of our society slipping backwards, toward the days when men had total domination over the wives...
...Even advocates of austerity (and I am not one of them) should realize that this is wrong-headed, both in terms of raw economics and simple morality.
Hopefully the bill will die in a flurry of outrage and indignation. Women are already facing an uphill battle with few good choices in situations of domestic violence. In Topeka, a grim picture will become a great deal more bleak if this law is passed.
So what happened last night at Topeka's City Council Meeting?
Did officials kill the proposal as Mr. Cain argued they must?
The measure passed 7-3, and Topeka's domestic violence ordinance was repealed.
The reality is that domestic violence enforcement was not crippled with the "Yea" votes.
The realization that Mr. Cain missed was that each state, as mandated by the federal government, has domestic violence laws.
Whether local ordinances exist or not is irrelevant.
It is not the norm for police to arrest for domestic violence based on local charges.
If an officer arrives at the scene of domestic violence, he/she can arrest for a misdemeanor or felony based on that state's law (or Commonwealth, but I'll try to keep it simple).
Topeka not having a local ordinance banning domestic violence should have no impact on the problem there.
If anyone is putting domestic violence victims at risk, it would be county prosecutor Chad Taylor.
But I believe Mr. Taylor's statement that he does not have the funds to prosecute misdemeanor domestic violence cases as just managerial maneuvering.
The district attorney wants more money for his office, but it looks like Topeka's council called his bluff.
And I have no doubt that the DA will continue to prosecute misdemeanor domestic violence cases in his county
If he chooses the alternative, the nationwide backlash that he would face from citizen groups in combination with the jurisdiction's liability of letting potential repeat violent offenders go would be overwhelming.
Expect the county attorney to find another way to deal with his office's budget constraints.
It sounds like the city council made a rational decision despite what those who failed to grasp the full extent of the situation would lead us to believe.