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News Times: State Legislature Passes Bill to Strengthen Domestic Violence Laws

A bill passed by the state Legislature will strengthen the state’s domestic-violence laws to protect victims from emotional abuse and online stalking, local advocates said.

“Domestic violence is about power and control, one individual trying to take power and control over another,” said Karen Jarmoc, head of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

“They do that through multiple strategies. Domestic violence doesn’t always have to look like physical abuse. It can be mental abuse, emotional abuse.”

The bill passed last week includes language to protect victims who suffer “emotional distress” as well as physical abuse. Under existing law, victims must prove they fear for their physical safety in order to be protected under anti-stalking statutes.

The legislation is the first to include protection for victims against stalking through electronic or social media.

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