If you have been hit or threatened, the laws of the State of Connecticut can give you special protection and services. Sometimes these laws are called domestic violence or family violence laws. These laws and services can help you even if you and the person who hurt you are going to stay together. Try to get as much information as you can about all your options before you make decisions about your relationship.
You can do the following to get some relief through the criminal and civil justice systems:
- Call the police
- Ask the court for an order of protection, which will mandate the person who abused you to stop. The order can also remove the abuser from the home for safety reasons.
- Ask the court to make orders that will help you protect your children.
- Talk to a Family Violence Victim Advocate (FVVA) for information about the law, the court, and other options you may have. FVVA’s are staff members of local domestic violence programs who work at the state’s criminal courts and are available to help you.
If you think your partner will not obey the law or any restraining or protective order the court has issued, you may want to call your local domestic violence agency (link to provider page) to identify other ways to help keep you safe.
Remember, anyone can be a victim of domestic violence regardless of age, gender, economic status, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or education. Connecticut’s laws and legal options apply equally to all victims of domestic violence. The law also applies to all victims regardless of their immigration status.
For further information about legal options, please refer to CCADV’s Guide to Connecticut’s Family Violence Laws (also available in Spanish) which includes:
- Step-by-step guide to both criminal and civil court proceedings
- Glossary of terms associated with court proceedings
- Information on divorce and separation, as well as child custody issues
- Sample court documents, such a civil restraining order, and instructions for completion
- Resource directory with all criminal and civil court contact information, as well as statewide agencies that can help
Your local domestic violence agency can assist you with navigating criminal court and can sometimes also assist with matters in family court. Advocates can also provide you with information and referrals for low-cost or pro-bono legal representation in your area.
You can also visit CTLawHelp.org, a project of the CT Network for Legal Aid. CTLawHelp.org has several self-help guides available to assist victims with legal issues such as:
- Court fee waivers
- Completing court forms
- Family Violence Leave (leave from work due to family violence)
- What to do when the other parent doesn’t obey a court order for child custody
Statewide Legal Assistance:
If you are in need of legal representation and have very low income, you may qualify for one of Connecticut’s legal aid programs. To find out more, call:
Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut toll-free hotline: (800) 453-3320*
*legal services hotline call-in hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 9:00am – 3:00pm and Wednesdays from 1:00pm – 3:00pm; from Middletown and Hartford call 860-344-0380
Visit Connecticut’s Judicial Branch Court & Staff Directory for each Judicial District to find court personnel contact information, as well as directions to each court location.
For additional resources, please visit the Resource Library.