Topeka Gov. Mark Parkinson said Tuesday a new law aimed at identifying domestic violence earlier should lead to a decrease in the crime.
Parkinson’s comments came during a ceremonial bill signing of House Bill 2517 at the 13th annual Crime Victims’ Rights Conference.
He was accompanied by former Attorney General Bob Stephan, members of the Governor’s Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, and Christie and Curt Brungardt, the mother and stepfather of Jana Mackey, who was murdered by her former boyfriend in Lawrence in 2008.
“I’m thankful that so many fought for this bill,” said Christie Brungardt.
The new law is designed to identify domestic violence offenders in legal proceedings, track repeat offenders, and requires courts to order assessment of offenders and recommend treatment programs.
Christie Brungardt's daughter, Jana, served as a sexual assault and domestic violence advocate and lobbyist for the National Organization for Women. Mackey was murdered by Adolfo Garcia-Nunez, who was arrested in New Jersey and then committed suicide in a holding cell.
Curt Brungardt said if someone like Jana could be the victim of domestic violence, “this could truly happen to anybody.”
The couple are trying to raise awareness about domestic violence statewide, nationally and internationally.
Parkinson said it’s a noble mission. “The treatment of women on this planet is shameful,” he said.