TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced the launch of a toolkit to help Kansas communities create local interdisciplinary teams to prevent intimate partner violence and support survivors. The toolkit provides communities with resources to establish teams and identify and manage cases in which someone is at high risk of either perpetrating or being victimized by intimate partner violence.
Intimate partner violence is a continuing threat to the health and safety of Kansas communities. From 2017 to 2021, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation reported law enforcement agencies responded to 114,963 domestic violence incidents.
“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,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Such a complex problem demands nuanced solutions, and this toolkit gives cities and counties the ability to tailor their responses to their communities’ needs.
With support from a federal grant from the Office on Violence Against Women, this toolkit was created by the Governor’s Advisory Council on Domestic and Sexual Violence Response, a partnership of the Governor’s Office, the Kansas Office of Judicial Administration, the Kansas Office of the Attorney General, 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 ICJR toolkit. The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) will provide communities support as they implement this toolkit. The KCSDV can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (785) 232-9784.
“By using these tools, communities in Kansas can reduce the risk of serious and lethal 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 manner to identify and respond to high-risk domestic violence situations, these actions can save lives.”
In addition to the toolkit, Kansas City, Kansas has been chosen as a pilot community to create the high-risk team and implement the tool to identify high-risk cases, using grant funding. Representatives from the Kansas City Police Department and a local domestic violence nonprofit, Friends of Yates, along with members from the criminal justice system and other community partners, have worked with staff from the Governor’s Grants Program and KCSDV to implement these tools and will launch their 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 in regards to the role it plays in so many homicides,” Chief Karl Oakman, Kansas City, Kansas Police Department, said.
“When responding to a domestic violence call, the utilization of this high-risk assessment tool by law enforcement will be an entry point for many victims of domestic violence to immediately be connected to life-saving supportive services provided by Friends of Yates,” Arica Roland, Executive Director of Friends of Yates, said. “Through this community collaboration, we hope to assist more victims with understanding their risk factors for potential homicide, safety concerns, safety planning, understanding their legal rights, and identifying community resources before it’s too late.”
Anyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual identity or orientation, or socio-economic status, may become a victim of IPV. Free and confidential help for victims 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.