Conn. (WTNH) – “It should be and it needs to be, different. It needs to be bigger and louder.” That’s the message from Interval House on how this year’s observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October needs to be.
Awareness is the key, according to the Interval House. The objective of our Purple with a Purpose campaign is simple: raise awareness of domestic violence and raise the funds to support victims and survivors.”
In recent years, domestic violence agencies have seen requests for assistance increase dramatically. Interval House says in the past two years, demands for their services have been unrelenting.
This past year once again has seen its share of intimate partner murders and other incidents of domestic violence across the state in communities including Hartford, Meriden, and East Granby.
Intimate partner homicide data from the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence shows that unofficially there have been 13 such homicides between October 2021 to the present date. Nine of those appear to have been murder-suicides.
Here are just some incidents from the past year:
- August 28, 2022: Avon Police Sgt. Thomas Jacius killed his wife Doreen in East Granby and then killed himself, according to police.
- August 27, 2022: Branford man Michael Mollow killed Caroline Anne Ashworth in Wethersfield and then killed himself, according to police.
- July 20, 2022: George Dodson, a Navy Sailor, killed his wife Shelby in New London. He is in custody for murder.
- March 29, 2022: Bobby Howell killed his wife Donna in Seymour then killed himself. according to police.
- March 20, 2022: Tyrese Worthy killed Dominique Curtis in Meriden then killed himself in what police say was domestic.
- December 13, 2021: Deandre Faison killed his girlfriend Alicia Underwood in Hartford then killed himself. according to police.
- December 12, 2021: Bernard Halligan killed his wife Linda Halligan in Simsbury then killed himself, according to police.
- November 9, 2021: Kamil Zielinski is accused of killing his wife Grace in Ansonia. He is in custody for murder.
On October 6, 2022 Avery Hallbrooks was sentenced in New London Superior Court to 40 years in prison for the 2018 murder of his pregnant girlfriend, Corina Zukowski, in the Starlight Inn in East Lyme. Her stepfather, Phil Rodriguez, spoke at the court saying “Mostly what I’m scared about is if you’re a woman, daughter, mother, be frightened because domestic violence is serious. If you need help seek help.” Her family hopes laws can be changed making murder as the result of domestic violence a special circumstance carrying a mandatory life sentence without parole.
In August, Richard Dabate was sentenced to 65 years in prison for the 2015 murder of his wife, Connie, in their Ellington home.
In March, a jury found Anthony Valeriano, 53, guilty of first-degree manslaughter with a firearm for killing his girlfriend, 44-year-old Natosha Gaines in their New Haven apartment on Oct. 17, 2020. In May, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Just a fraction of domestic violence incidents end in death. Those that do, usually leave behind surviving family members, including children, who along with survivors, also need support and services.
Services are available at CTSafeConnect.org or by calling or texting (888) 774-2900. Advocates are available 24/7.
Here are just a few of the many domestic violence agencies in Connecticut you can donate to:
- Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Interval House
- New Horizons Domestic Violence Services
- Prudence Crandall Center
- Safe Futures
- Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury, Inc.
- Susan B. Anthony Project
- The Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services
- United Services, Inc.
Here are some events throughout the month to raise awareness of domestic violence:
October 3, 2022: Susan B. Anthony Project’s commemorative wreath hanging ceremony to honor victims and survivors of domestic violence at Torrington City Hall at 10 a.m.
October 4, 2022: Sound of Hope Vigil at Long Wharf Pier in New Haven at 1 p.m.
(POSTPONED) October 6, 2022: Susan B. Anthony Project’s candlelight vigil at Coe Memorial Park in Torrington at 6 p.m. NEW DATE: October 12, 2022 at 6 p.m.
October 8, 2022: The Walk to End Silence at 9 a.m. on Grand Street in Middletown
October 11, 2022: Valley Vigil to Honor Survivors and Remember Victims of Domestic Violence at Veteran’s Park, 38 Canal St. E, Shelton at 6 p.m.
(CANCELLED) October 12, 2022 (NEW DATE): Susan B. Anthony Project’s candlelight vigil at Coe Memorial Park in Torrington at 6 p.m. (If you wish to connect with an advocate related to services, please call our 24-7-365 hotline at 860-482-7133. We continue to support and honor all survivors of domestic and sexual violence.)
October 19, 2022: Purple flag raising over the State Capitol at 10 a.m.
October 23, 2022: The Annual 4K Safe Walk at 9 a.m. at Waterford High School