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There's an effort to reduce the rate of domestic violence in Kansas City, Kansas

Wyandotte County DV.jpg
Posted at 4:08 PM, Nov 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-21 19:22:21-05

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — This fall, Kansas City, Kansas, Chief of Police Karl Oakman stood alongside Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree as he announced domestic violence charges against a KCKPD officer. 

Earlier this year, 33-year-old Deotis Brown was charged of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated intimidation of a witness or victim for an incident that happened in February.

During that press conference, Oakman offered a sobering statistic.

"When you look at our homicides for this year, roughly 34 percent are domestic violence related," he said.  

Since then, KSHB 41 News anchor Dia Wall has been talking to several people in Wyandotte County to gain a deeper understanding of what is behind the increased numbers and the people working collaboratively to get it under control. 

Dupree shared more about the awareness component, educating victims of domestic violence about how to get out.

"The national numbers show us domestic violence concerning those who are romantically-involved make up about 15 percent of homicide cases in our country," Dupree said. "In Wyandotte County, it's doubled. That means that people are dying." 

Bryan Christian, who heads up violent crime investigations for KCK Police, spoke about the process when officers respond to domestic incidents. He believes his role is "To actually motivate and encourage, to strengthen those who have been victimized." 

Oakman says a new protocol will be rolled out in December to better protect victims of domestic violence before it becomes deadly.

"If we can really address the domestic violence issue, then hopefully some of those younger children as they're coming up in homes they're not exposed to that," Oakman said. "What happens is, when they're victimized, statistics say they end up being the ones who are victimizing others." 

Arica Roland is executive director of Friends of Yates, the only domestic violence shelter in KCK. She addressed the need and demand for the services they provide.

"We provide a really important service because it's so needed in the community but at the same time, there's so much more we can do because the needs are so great," Roland said.

Tessa, a survivor of domestic violence is opening up about her journey to get out and the help she received right here in the metro. She wants other survivors to know that she, "Had never seen a way out."

"I thought I was stuck in this forever just because I did love him," she said. "I was scared to leave. I didn't know anything else at that point. I overcame that. It was the hardest thing ever and I overcame it and it turned out to be my best decision I ever made in my life." 

Over the coming weeks, KSHB 41 is going in depth on domestic violence and its impact here in the metro. Tune in to learn more about efforts in KCK from programs in high schools to free group therapy for survivors among us.