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Kansas City Council Toughens Domestic Violence Enforcement

Kansas City, Mo., toughened its protections against domestic violence Thursday, giving city prosecutors the power to take violators of ex parte orders of protection to court.

The ordinance was back on the floor after a revision to address Councilman Ed Ford's insistence that it be modified to make it clear that persons could only be prosecutors if they had received notice of the protection order. He still objected that the revised ordinance could make it difficult for estranged couples to communicate about children or other important matters.

Colleague John Sharp, whose daughter was killed in a domestic violence incident, called Ford's idea “trivializing" the issue.

“If you want to continue to have communication with your spouse or ex-spouse or significant other or ex-significant other about the children, it might be a good idea not to beat up your spouse," Sharp admonished him. "It might be a good idea not to put them in fear of their life.”

Only Ford voted against the ordinance, which sponsor Scott Taylor said was designed to speed up the lagging protection some victims get through the state court system.

The revised ordinance also doubles the maximum penalties for violating an ex parte order to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

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