HARTFORD- State Rep. Tom Delnicki (R-14) stood alongside colleagues, domestic violence advocates and survivors of domestic violence to raise awareness during the month of October as Connecticut observes Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) and the raising of the purple flag over the State Capitol.
Rep. Delnicki, was recognized as an advocate for domestic violence victims with his support of a bill last session in the Banking Committee, which provides legal protections for coerced debt, a form of economic abuse that acts as a powerful control tactic to keep victims of domestic violence tied to their abuser.
Economic abuse can include exerting control over income, spending, bank accounts, bills and borrowing. It can also include controlling access to and use of things like transport and technology, which allow us to work and stay connected, as well as property and daily essentials like food and clothing.
Rep. Delnicki said, “As we learned in testimony last year, physical violence is not the only kind of trauma, there is also form of economic abuse, that almost every survivor of domestic violence has experienced.”
The Purple Flag represents our commitment to ending Domestic Violence. Domestic violence is a serious violent crime that includes both physical and emotional abuse. It is frequently hidden from public view. Many victims suffer in silence, afraid to seek help or not knowing where to turn. The traumatic effects of domestic violence also extend beyond the abused person, impacting family members and communities. Children often witness the violence or become victims themselves. Stalking is a common and very dangerous tactic used by perpetrators of domestic violence and can pose challenges for victims seeking help.
In the past year, 2,950 victims & children were housed. According to advocates, shelters operated at 156% capacity throughout the year and the average amount of time that a victim remained in shelter was 51.1 days.
Beginning October 1, 2022, domestic violence will be a protected class in Connecticut related to employment, housing, credit transactions, and public accommodations. This means that employers, landlords, banks, etc. cannot discriminate against a person because they are a victim of domestic violence. Employers also cannot deny victims reasonable leave of absences to address issues related to domestic violence, similar to what is covered under Safe Leave.