There are efforts to reduce the rate of domestic violence in Kansas City, Kansas ” Kansas

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

Earlier this yearDeotis Brown, 33, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated intimidation of a witness or victim for an incident in February.

During that press conference, Oakman presented a sobering statistic.

“If you look at our homicides this year, about 34 percent are related to domestic violence,” he said.

Since then, KSHB 41 News host Dia Wall has spoken to several people in Wyandotte County to gain a deeper understanding of what’s behind the rising numbers and who are working together to get them under control.

Dupree shared more about the awareness component and educated victims of domestic violence on how to get out.

“The national figures tell us that domestic violence involving romantically involved individuals accounts for about 15 percent of homicides in our country,” Dupree said. “It’s doubled in Wyandotte County. That means people are dying.”

Bryan Christian, who directs violent crime investigations for the KCK Police Department, spoke about the process when officers respond to domestic incidents. He believes his role is to “actually motivate and encourage victims to empower them.”

A new protocol will be introduced in December to better protect victims of domestic violence before it becomes fatal, Oakman said.

“If we can really address the issue of domestic violence, then hopefully some of these younger kids growing up in homes won’t be exposed to it,” Oakman said. “What happens when they are bullied, statistics say they end up being the ones bullying others.”

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

“We’re providing 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 need is so great,” Roland said.

Tessa, a domestic violence survivor, talks about her journey to get out and the help she received here on the subway. She wants other survivors to know that she “never saw a way out.”

“I thought I’d be stuck in it forever just because I loved him,” she said. “I was afraid to leave. I didn’t know anything else at that point. I got over that.

In the coming weeks, KSHB 41 will go into detail about domestic violence and its effects here on the subway. Tune in to learn more about the efforts at KCK, from high school programs to free group therapy for survivors among us.