Sharp increase in domestic violence in Topeka, resources available for help

Local News

TOPEKA (KSNT)– Domestic violence cases in the Capital city are going up, especially over the past five years.

In Shawnee County, there were 281 cases reported in 2020. This is more than double the cases that were reported in 2016 according to the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office.

“We did reach an all-time high for calls over the last twenty-year period,” Deputy Abigail Christian, Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said.

Two Topeka women were killed days apart from each other in the month of September due to domestic violence crimes. Because of this recent tragedy, law enforcement wants people to know the warning signs of this violent behavior. They said a lot of time it stems from control and power.

“When people are trying to show their power or show their control over a loved one or over someone they are close with, that is a huge warning sign to look out for,” Deputy Christian said.

The next piece of advice from authorities is to use local resources, for example, the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment.

“If someone just walks into our agency and they say, ‘hey I need help, I don’t really know where to go,’ then we can connect them with an advocate,” Emily Steimel, Public Education Coordinator with the YWCA of Northeast Kansas said.

An advocate gets someone connected with exactly what they are needing at the time, which could be anything.

“So if they are needing counseling, if they are needing shelter, if they are needing management services,” Steimel said.

Law enforcement said taking that initial step and getting help could be the difference between life and death.

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