President of CT domestic violence organization takes on challenges brought up during pandemic

Domestic Violence Awareness

(WTNH) – October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. During the pandemic and isolation, the challenges have been greater than ever before.

News 8’s Rich Coppola spoke with someone taking on those challenges head-on.

The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) is a membership organization of the state’s 18 domestic violence service agencies. Recently, News 8 caught up with president and CEO Meghan Scanlon.

“My hope is we continue this dialogue past October and that we continue to reduce the shame around it, reduce the stigma, and really talk about the fact that these are issues that women are facing all year round,” Scanlon said.

When it comes to domestic violence, the warning signs aren’t always physical abuse. Earlier this year, Jennifer’s Law was signed into law. The law is named after Jennifer Dulos and Jennifer Magnano. Both lost their lives as a result of domestic violence. The new law expands protections to include coercive control.

“I think it empowers judges, it empowers our court advocates that are working with individuals to be able to, in circumstances that it applies, use coercive control in the definition to apply for a protective order, a restraining order that doesn’t necessarily, isn’t tied to physical abuse,” Scanlon said.

Scanlon has a wealth of experience in politics and non-profit. Most recently, she was the executive director of the Women and Family Life Center.

“We are actually in the process of facing a federal cut over the next two years to one of our main streams of funding, so that would be devastating in terms of our ability to provide services at the level we’re providing them now,” Scanlon said.

Scanlon feels we’ve all learned a lot from the pandemic and moving forward, she plans to do more partnerships in terms of funding and fundraising.

“We need to put resources into women and children, and men too that suffer from this, but specifically children as we move forward. We need to focus on the future and make sure that they have the resources they need to thrive past this experience,” Scanlon said.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you can find information here.

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