Posted on June 14, 2018 by admin
HADDAM – State Representative Robert Siegrist hosted a Domestic Violence Forum on Tuesday, June 12, at Haddam’s Old Town Hall, located at 21 Field Park Drive in Haddam from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
“Awareness is a critical component to ensuring prevention of domestic violence in our community and society. It is important to keep in mind that domestic violence does not always include physical violence; it can take the form of emotional or mental abuse and even cyberstalking. It all starts with awareness and being informed” said Rep. Siegrist.
“Preventing domestic violence in all of its forms must be a community effort if we are going to combat this issue. For that reason I am grateful to all those who attended and provided their input during the Domestic Violence Forum held in Haddam,” Rep. Siegrist stated.
“Efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of domestic violence victims are protecting victims’ rights because in the State of Connecticut all crime victims have the constitutional right to be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the criminal justice process,” said Natasha Pierre, State Victim Advocate, Office of the Victim Advocate.
“We understand domestic violence is a difficult an uncomfortable topic for many and appreciate Rep. Siegrist for bringing this forum to Haddam. Without discussion, prevention is impossible. Our services are just as dedicated to helping victims leave abusive relationships as we are to preventing abusive relationships from forming. It takes the support and understanding of the family, school, and community to truly be aware of the red flags, have the courage to say something, and connect them to the appropriate resources,” added Kelly Tea, Community Educator at New Horizons Domestic Violence Services.
Panelists for this discussion included: Kelly Tea, Community Educator at New Horizons Domestic Violence Services; Natasha M. Pierre, Connecticut State Victim Advocate and Joe DeAngelo, Haddam Resident State Trooper.
As recently as last year, Connecticut revisited existing domestic violence laws in order to modify and strengthen the legislation.
Public Act No. 17-31, An Act Concerning Strengthening Laws Concerning Domestic Violence, made various changes to strengthen existing laws concerning crimes against an individual:
- Specifies that electronic or social media are among the methods, devices, or means by which conduct that constitutes stalking may occur
- Broadens the strangulation statutes to include suffocation when a person obstructs another person’s nose or mouth
- Increases the penalty for violations of release conditions when the violation involves certain conduct
- Requires a presentence investigation for anyone convicted of a family violence crime for which a prison sentence may be imposed and prohibits them from waiving the investigation
- Expands the conduct that constitutes stalking to include conduct that causes substantial “emotional distress”
According to the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCA | DV), their organization helped 38,404 reported victims in 2017. Approximately 2,200 of the men and women involved in these incidents required shelter services. These facilities operated at a 122 percent capacity throughout the year.
For more information about the Office of the Victim Advocate visit: http://www.ctcadv.org/ or call 888-774-2900 for help or to talk to someone.
Anyone who was unable to attend, but who would like to connect with Rep. Siegrist can contact his Capitol office by phone at (860) 240-8700 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.