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Public Policy

CCADV works at both a state and national level to create and implement policy changes that will strengthen Connecticut’s response to domestic violence. Our staff works closely with elected officials and state agency leaders to ensure comprehensive polices that meet the needs of victims and hold offenders accountable.

During each session of the CT General Assembly CCADV takes an active role in drafting legislation and organizing testimony and advocacy on legislative measures related to domestic violence. We monitor dozens of additional bills that may impact victims in large or small ways. These issues may include child custody, divorce, spousal and child support, healthcare, social justice and economic justice.

Some of the key changes we’ve facilitated in recent years to domestic violence laws and policies in our state include:

  • Securing funding for 24-hour staffing at all of Connecticut domestic violence shelters
  • Strengthening civil restraining orders and criminal protective orders to ensure gun forfeiture by offenders, as well as extending the length of civil restraining orders
  • Enhancing the definitions of strangulation, threatening  and stalking to achieve greater protection for victims
  • Implementing a statewide Model Law Enforcement Policy on Family Violence as the standard by which all law enforcement in our state respond to domestic violence
  • Increasing housing protections for victims by allowing early lease termination when they’re in danger

Our staff works closely with and/or participates in several key policy committees including:

  • CT Speaker’s Task Force on Domestic Violence
  • CT Criminal Justice Policy Advisory Commission
  • CT Family Violence Model Policy Governing Council
  • CT Trafficking in Persons Council
  • National Network to End Domestic Violence Policy Committee
  • National Resource Center on Domestic Violence Prevention Council

2015 Policy Priorities

2015 Summary of Legislative Changes Related to Domestic Violence

CCADV's 2015 Policy Priorities

In 2015, CCADV will concentrate our policy efforts on the removal of firearms, including ammunition and carry permits, at the time an ex parte restraining order is put in place. While Connecticut law currently prohibits such possession from anyone subject to a full, one-year restraining order, there is no prohibition during the temporary, two-week order. This is arguably one of the most dangerous times for a victim of domestic violence who has just taken a significant step towards leaving the relationship and taking the power away from their abuser. At least 16 other states allow courts to prohibit possession of firearms during temporary, ex parte orders. Connecticut already has precedence for the removal of firearms following the application for a warrant, but prior to a court hearing, for individuals deemed to pose a threat to themselves or others.

We will also focus efforts on strengthening the state's system for the service of restraining orders, securing a temporary hold or "cooling off" period for individuals arrested for family violence that provides the victim with time to safety plan with a domestic violence counselor, and ensuring uniform, accepted standards for the provision of domestic violence offender programs within Connecticut. We will continue to monitor other issues that may impact victims such as child custody, divorce/alimony, health insurance, Family & Medical Leave Act, wage gap, etc.

2014 Legislative Changes

2014 Summary of Legislative Changes Related to Domestic Violence

Recent Policy Briefs:

Temporary Holds Following an Arrest: Giving Victims Time to Find Safety (March 2015)

Firearms & Domestic Violence: Protecting Victims at the Most Dangerous Time (December 2014)

Financial Abuse: Securing Economic Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence (March 2013)

To learn more about the CT General Assembly, please read This is Your General Assembly.

For more information on CCADV’s policy initiatives, please contact Liza Andrews, Director of Public Policy & Communications, at (860) 282-7899 or landrews@ctcadv.org.