Susan B. Anthony Project hosts vigil for domestic violence awareness, shares stories of survivors

Domestic Violence Awareness

TORRINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Raising awareness for domestic violence: a vigil hosted by the Susan B. Anthony Project was held Wednesday night in Torrington.

The community gathered at Coe Memorial Park for the event. Organizers said more than 20 people in Connecticut lost their lives this year due to domestic violence. And they’re not just women; they’re men and children, too.

Matthias Ekstrand, a community educator for the Susan B Anthony Project explained, “You’ll see maybe a news headline flash across your screen once, but you don’t get to hear about the story.”

Forty-seven pairs of shoes signify the number of kids who’ve checked into a local shelter in 2021. Some of their stories were printed out on signs at the park.

Ekstrand said, “They’re very impactful because we can talk about it all day but hearing from victims and survivors is the most important part.” 

To combat domestic violence on the legal level, Connecticut lawmakers passed Jennifer’s Law earlier this year. It was signed into law by Governor Ned Lamont back in June. 

The law was named for two women. One of them was Jennifer Farber Dulos, a New Canaan mother of five who vanished in May of 2019. Her estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, was charged with murder in her death and disappearance. He later killed himself.

The law expands the definition of domestic violence in the state to include coercive control. 

A report from The Connecticut Domestic Violence Fatality Review Task Force shows domestic violence homicide is not going away in our state, in fact, the number has remained steady. Since the year 2000, the state has averaged about 14 intimate partner homicides every year.

“More people that are there, the easier it is, the more likely we can prevent it from happening in the future,” Ekstrand said.

If you or someone you know needs help you can go directly to CTSafeConnect.org or call or text (888) 774-2900.

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