Public hearing held for Jennifers’ Law, pushing for more protections for victims of domestic violence

Domestic Violence Awareness

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Dozens of people testified for more protections for victims of domestic violence during a public hearing for Jennifers’ Law on Wednesday.

Jennifers’ Law was named after that missing New Canaan mother of five Jennifer Dulos. She’s been missing since May 2019. The main suspect in her case is her late, estranged husband Fotis Dulos.

The proposed legislation also honors the life of Jennifer Gauthier Magnano of Terryville, who was killed by her husband in 2007.

The proposal calls for adding what’s called “coercive control” to the definition of domestic violence.

Wednesday’s testimony included a moving message from actress Evan Rachel Wood. She says she suffered abuse by her former boyfriend, rockstar Marilyn Manson.

“He often monitored when I ate and when I slept. Sometimes keeping me from eating and sleeping, which weakened and disoriented me. He became critical of how I looked which led him to be critical of things I was allowed to wear,” Wood explained. “If I had been educated in coercive control, I may have been able to spot the signs. I would’ve been more away of my civil liberties slowly being stripped away.”

Manson has called the abuse claims, “horrible distortions of reality.”

The Jennifers’ Law bill would also allow domestic violence to be a reason to dissolve a marriage. It also calls for training for authorities to identify coercive control and other domestic violence warning signs.

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, you can contact the state domestic violence hotline at 1-888-774-2900.

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