Sen. Blumenthal announces federal funding to help reduce domestic violence nation-wide


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal announced Friday that over $500 million in federal funding will be going to help law enforcement and domestic violence groups.

Sen. Blumenthal was joined by the CEO of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence and domestic violence advocates to highlight the problem of domestic violence and to talk about how the funding will be used to help victims in the state.

There have been 13 domestic violence homicides in Connecticut in 2019. The victims: predominantly women.

Overall, Connecticut averages 14 deadly domestic disputes a year. 2019’s numbers could go up. There are two pending cases that advocates suspect will be labeled as Domestic Homicides.

Those two cases would bring 2019’s number to 15, making it higher than average.

“At what point do we stop asking ourselves ‘why does she stay?’ and turn that into more ‘how do we get that violence to stop?'”

– Karen Jarmoc, Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence

There are 18 agencies in the state that help victims. They report that, among them, they get upwards of 33,000 calls a year. Call Senator Blumenthal calls “literally cries for help.”

Last week, the United States Senate passed a bill that contains more than $500 million for the Violence Against Women Act.

It’s unclear how much of that money will end up in Connecticut, but state organizers got $3.6 million to provide shelter, legal services, counseling, and training for law enforcement in 2019.

Domestic violence shelters are operating at 121% capacity all the time.

“That means that families are being put on couches and family rooms and children’s play rooms to accommodate the need for safety when survivors and their children are seeking to leave a relationship that is volatile.”

– Karen Jarmoc, Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence

While the funding has been approved, Congress hasn’t taken any action on policy language concerning the Violence Against Women Act.

That’s being held up, potentially over partisan beliefs about gun laws.

Senator Blumenthal believes Congress will take action at some point in 2020.

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