Posted on October 7, 2021
Please join me in recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM).
Domestic violence is a serious violent crime that can include both physical and emotional abuse. It is frequently hidden from public view and many victims suffer in silence, afraid to seek help or not knowing where to turn. The traumatic effects of domestic violence may also extend beyond the victim and may impact family members and communities. Stalking is a common and dangerous tactic sometimes used by perpetrators of domestic violence that can pose challenges for victims trying to seek help.
If you or someone you know needs assistance, the State of Connecticut offers resources for those affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking.
If you need an advocate or just someone to talk to, free, safe online or over-the-phone information is available 24 hours a day at www.CTSafeConnect.com or by calling/texting (888) 774-2900.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence also provides resources on their website at: https://ncadv.org/2021DVAM
No one should ever be subjected to the fear, shame, and humiliation of an abusive relationship. During this time of awareness, I hope everyone can take the time to learn how to best support a friend or family member looking to free themselves from abuse and help give a voice to those who suffer in silence.
Last year, the House Republican Caucus proposed a bill (HB 5306) giving temporary assistance to victims of domestic violence. It had broad support among domestic abuse support non-profit organizations, the Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity and Opportunity (CWCSEO), and multiple Democratic legislators. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic it was not brought to the floor of the House. This year, with the same broad support, it was able to finally make its debut onto the House floor and passed unanimously. Ultimately, democrats supported the concept and adopted the language in SB 1091 which I proudly supported; click here to read more.
The bill provides temporary assistance to domestic violence victims by waiving the benefits income thresholds for 90 days. It does this by not counting the income of a spouse, domestic partner or other household member credibly accused of domestic violence. The bill allows allegations of domestic violence to be substantiated in accordance with existing law. It requires the funds to be taken solely out of the state-funded Temporary Family Assistance Diversion Program instead of from federally-funded programs.