TOPEKA — Governor Laura Kelly today announced the launch of a toolkit to help Kansas communities build local interdisciplinary teams to prevent intimate partner violence and support survivors. The toolkit provides resources for communities to build teams and identify and manage instances where someone is at high risk of perpetrating or being a victim of intimate partner violence.
Intimate partner violence is an ongoing threat to the health and safety of Kansas communities. From 2017 to 2021, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation reported that law enforcement agencies responded to 114,963 incidents of domestic violence.
“I am proud to provide, along with many partners, such a robust set of resources for Kansas communities to prevent domestic violence and protect survivors,” Gov. Laura Kelly said. “Such a complex problem requires nuanced solutions, and this toolkit gives cities and counties the ability to tailor their responses to the needs of their communities.
With support from a federal grant from the Office on Violence Against Women, this toolkit was created by the Governor’s Advisory Council on Response to Domestic and Sexual Violence, a partnership of the Office of the Governor, Kansas Office of the Judicial Administration , the Kansas General Attorney’s Office, the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, the Kansas Department of Corrections, and the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV).
The toolkit is available online at the ICJR toolkit. The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) will provide support to communities as they implement this toolkit. The KCSDV can be contacted at [email protected] or (785) 232-9784.
“By using these tools, Kansas communities can reduce the risk of serious and life-threatening violence for victims of intimate partner violence,” Michelle McCormick, executive director of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, said. “We know that when professionals come together in a coordinated way to identify and respond to high-risk domestic violence situations, these actions can save lives.”
In addition to the toolkit, Kansas City, Kansas was selected as a pilot community to build the high-risk team and implement the tool to identify high-risk cases using grants. Representatives from the Kansas City Police Department and a local domestic violence non-profit, Friends of Yates, along with members of the criminal justice system and other community partners, worked with Governor’s grant program staff and KCSDV to implement these tools and will launch their own efforts soon.
“This is an excellent opportunity for the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department to partner with the State of Kansas and our community partners to address domestic violence, especially with regards to the role it plays in so many homicides,” This was stated by Chief Karl Oakman, Kansas City, Kansas Police Department.
“When responding to a domestic violence call, law enforcement’s use of this high-risk assessment tool will be an entry point for many domestic violence victims who will be immediately connected to the life-saving support services provided from Friends of Yates”, Arica Roland, executive director of Friends of Yates, said. “Through this community collaboration, we hope to help more victims understand their risk factors for potential homicide, safety concerns, planning for safety, understanding their legal rights, and identifying community resources before it’s too late.”
Anyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual identity or orientation, or socioeconomic status can become a victim of IPV. Free, confidential victim help is available 24/7 through the Kansas Crisis Hotline at 888-363-2287 or their local domestic violence advocacy program at www.kcsdv.org /find-help.