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Topeka Police turn to Washburn University for assistance to improve its domestic violence program

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 6:09 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -The Topeka Police Department says they receive calls regarding someone in a domestic violence situation daily, so they turned to Washburn University to help them improve their list of questions to ask each victim.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 40% of women and about 30% of men in Kansas face abuse each year.

“The assessment program is designed to help assess the likelihood for a potentially lethal victim in a partner relationship so that can be an intimate partner relationship but it can also be with family members such as siblings and parent-child,” said Beth O’Neill with Washburn University.

Major Russell Klumpp says this is used as a tool to determine the situation of each call.

“And so what the tool does is they list out the elements in a way that the officers can formulate interviews with the victim to how dangerous the situation may be for the victim at the time and it also helps guide the officers to what resources may be useful for them,” he said.

Beth O’Neill with Washburn University says it’s all about asking the right questions to examine the level of danger on the other side of the call.

“Some of those questions are if there has been a prior episode of simulation if the perpetrator used drugs if there is a weapon in the home and if the victim fears for their safety some questions among those lines and they have all been available through research,” O’Neill said.

The program began in 2012 and with the training, Klumpp says he has seen improvements.

“We have seen improvements in lots of areas and the reports the officers are writing have improved because the assessment tool helps to key them in the questions of the questions they should be asking and some things they are looking for,” he said.

In 2021 Topeka has had two cases of domestic violence that have resulted in death. If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation, we will have a link to available resources here.

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