NEW CANAAN, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut has worked hard to strengthen domestic violence laws in the four years since New Canaan mom Jennifer Farber Dulos went missing.
Jennifer’s Law expanded the state’s definition of domestic violence to include non-physical abuse and coercive control, plus created grants for people with low income to apply for restraining orders. The law is also named after Jennifer Magnano, who was shot and killed by her husband in 2007.
Advocacy groups say that those changes have made a difference.
“It’s given survivors and victims and their families another option that was just not possible before,” said Meghan Scanlon, the president and CEO of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “We’ve talked about the fact that on the other side of it, prosecutors and judges had seen this behavior before, but there was really no direct way to address it. So, I think from both sides, it’s really been beneficial.”
Scanlon said that it is going to take a lot more work too make sure that people are trained and educated about domestic violence. Meanwhile, she said the law is working the way it’s meant to.
“It’s definitely brought an increased level of safety, or increased level of empowerment, to victims, because they have this option,” Scanlon said.