KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dozens of cases are handled each week in Courtroom E at the Kansas City Municipal Court that specifically deal with domestic violence.
“Sadly I have a docket everyday at 9 a.m., Monday through Friday, and there are on average 100 cases on that docket, some as many as 200,” Judge Courtney Wachal said.
Wachal said the domestic violence cycle needs to end.
“Here at the municipal court, we take it very seriously and what we can to stop the offenders and help the victims,” Wachal said.
Because of the municipal court’s efforts, it's getting national recognition from the U.S. Department of Justice as a domestic violence court mentor, the only municipal court in the nation to receive the recognition.
“I’m really excited, it’s awesome,” Wachal said. “Since I found out we won the grant, I haven't stopped thinking about it.”
This recognition means courts from around the country will travel to Kansas City to observe courtroom practices of domestic violence. One of the biggest practices the court does is the level of supervision for its more serious offenders.
“They report to a probation officer and they report to me on a regular basis, where I'm watching them and making sure they don't re-offend,” Wachal said. “They're following my no contact orders, they're going to classes, they're going to treatment and I think that is the best practices and that is unique to our community that we are stepping up.”
The grant is for $48,090. Wachal said it’ll be used for courtroom trainings and assist with other courts as they come to Kansas City, learning more ways to combat domestic violence.
“Victims need to feel empowered to speak out,” she said. “They need to know that people are listening and want to do something to keep them safe.”