Hundreds gather at the statehouse for the 16th annual Advocacy Day

TOPEKA, Kan (WIBW) -- 75 life size silhouettes representing Kansas women who lost their lives through sexual and domestic violence filled the Capitol Wednesday.

"That's only one small microscopic you know snapshots of the homicides in Kansas that are domestic violence related," Lucca Wang with the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence said.

The Silent Witness Displays were part of the 16th annual Advocacy Day.

26 victim advocacy groups from across the state joined together to provide information of their services and increase awareness.

Lawmakers also joined the discussion to announce two new bills related to domestic violence.

Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau (D-Wichita) said her bill is aimed to increase domestic battery penalties.

"Specifically it requires domestic batterers, offenders to undergo an assessment conducted by a certified batterer intervention program," she said.

She also explained that penalties would increase for those committing domestic violence acts in front of a child.

"It is to be considered endangering of a child with a class A misdemeanor," she added.

Sen. Dinah Sykes (D-Lenexa) also introduced a bill of her own that would add housing protections to victims looking to rent.

"Prohibits applicants from being denied on the basis of the fact that the applicant is or has been in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, or stalking so long as the applicant otherwise qualifies for occupancy," she said.

She added that the bill would prevent victims and survivors even after they move in to a home.

"A tenant cannot be evicted from their premises or found in violation of a rental agreement if they are victims of domestic violence," she said.

The Senators and their supporters said they're hoping to send a strong message to offenders.

Victims of sexual and domestic violence can call the 24 hour Kansas Crisis Hotline at 888-END-ABUSE OR 888-363 -2287.