Domestic violence surrounding our community

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — While crime overall in Topeka is down from this time last year, the calls officers are responding to have a common theme, domestic violence.

And the Willow Domestic Violence Center is seeing that as well.

“Traditionally, we will see a drop around the holidays, people try to stay home and get through the holidays with their families,” interim executive director Megan Stuke said. “But this year, we have been full for months without a dip.”

And not seeing that dip, doesn’t end with shelters.

In just seven days, from Jan. 1 to Jan. 8, the Topeka Police Department has responded to 174 domestic violence calls.

In November, a domestic disturbance call turned into a deadly 90-minute standoff in Topeka.

And just last week, a Riley County Police officer was shot while responding to a domestic violence call.

The Willow Domestic Violence Center said a call for help can never come too soon.

“I was afraid to speak out, I was putting make up on my bruised face to hide it from my children and my family members,” survivor Liz Rizo-Febres said.

“When you’re in a situation it’s really hard to clearly see how dangerous it really is,” volunteer services director Alicia Weissenbach said.

But it’s a call, that can save your life.

“Those small victories that you see people make when they have started to kind of take the power back for themselves,” Weissenbach said. “There’s really no other feeling like that.”

And you can help give that power back to those who have lost it, by volunteering. Contact the Willow Domestic Violence Center by clicking here. You will have to go through training courses provided by the center to volunteer in the shelter.

And if you are feeling that you are in a dangerous situation, you can call their 24-hour hotline at (785) 843-3333.


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