Connecticut issuing new domestic violence restraining order law to increase safer options

Domestic Violence Awareness

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GLASTONBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut’s new restraining order law will go into effect starting Oct. 1, starting off Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Signed earlier this year by Gov. Ned Lamont, this new law is designed to address the real experiences of survivors of all forms of domestic violence. Connecticut’s Coalition Against Domestic Violence, along with 18 other organizations, has paved the way for this law of Public Act 21-78 to pass.

CCADV says Public Act 21-78 will protect victims from all acts of coercive control that leave victims scared and trapped.

“By expanding the definition of family violence in Connecticut’s restraining order statute to address coercive control, we’ll be able to ensure court-ordered relief for the many non-physical tactics abusers use to gain and maintain control over their victims,” said Meghan Scanlon, president, and CEO of CCADV. “As we come to better understand the trauma and paralyzing fear that emotionally and physically abusive actions can have on victims, it is essential that our state shift its response and update legal options to reflect that understanding. That’s what we’ve done with this new law.”

CCADV hopes that this law will not only provide training, but also technical assistance options for advocates, survivors, and community partners starting in the fall.

Public Act 21-78 will have a grant program to provide low-income survivors with access to legal access when making an application for a restraining order in Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Stamford, and Waterbury.

“Survivors and their children often struggle through the family court process, which can be overwhelming and used by their abuser to further control and harass them,” said Meredith Gold, director of TWYCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services.” While we caution that Public Act 21-78 won’t fix every problem within the system, we believe it’s a step in the right direction to help survivors be safer.”

To read more about this law and CCADV events, head to ctcadv.org.

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