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Public Policy

2021 Policy Priorities

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

2021 Legislative Session

2021 Policy Priorities

CCADV's 2021 Policy Priorities highlight focus areas for CCADV over the coming year to strengthen both statutory and administrative policy and practice that help domestic violence survivors to achieve safety and stability. The policy priorities seek to address the large number of complex factors that impact the ability of both the survivor and the family as a whole to live a life free from violence. Below is a synopsis of this year's priorities. The complete document can be accessed at the link above.

A priority for CCADV is expanding the definition of family violence in Connecticut’s restraining order law to address coercive control and ensure court-ordered relief from the emotional and psychological tactics abusers use to gain and maintain control over their victim. We will also work to make permanent the online restraining order process we developed during the pandemic with our partners in legal aid as well as the CT Judicial Branch. 

We will continue to prioritize equity and social justice in our work while also taking an in-depth look at our own service system to ensure it is both equitable and accessible. Survivors from marginalized communities, particularly communities of color, face profound barriers in accessing the culturally-relevant advocacy, services and resources they need to be safe. Biases, whether implicit or explicit, impact how individuals experience violence and how systems respond to their needs.

CCADV will also work to promote a coordinated, collaborative response to survivor safety and offender accountability in an effective and equitable manner. This includes a consistent response statewide to violations of court orders, which have been shown through extensive evidence-based research to represent potentially escalating and lethal violence in abusive relationships. Family Violence Victim Advocates must also have access to police reports to improve their ability to perform their duties and enhance victim safety.

Our work to promote economic justice for survivors will also remain a focus. Economic barriers are the most common challenges that prevent survivors and their children from achieving safety. When survivors have stable access to resources that help them build economic resiliency, they and their families are much more likely to remain safe and secure. Economic justice requires policies that support survivors becoming economically empowered through equal access to money and other basic resources, such as housing, childcare, transportation, education, and workforce training. 

Recent Legislative Changes

*The 2020 session of the CT General Assembly was canceled due to the pandemic so there is no summary available.

2019 Summary of Legislative Changes Related to Domestic Violence

2018 Summary of Legislative Changes Related to Domestic Violence

2017 Summary of Legislative Changes Related to Domestic Violence

2016 Summary of Legislative Changes Related to Domestic Violence

2015 Summary of Legislative Changes Related to Domestic Violence

2014 Summary of Legislative Changes Related to Domestic Violence

Recent CCADV Policy Briefs:

Support Funding for Domestic Violence Child & Family Advocates (January 2020)

Dominant Aggressor: Reducing Decades of Dual Arrest in Connecticut (February 2018)

Stalking & Intimate Partner Violence: Increasing Intervention Before Violence Escalates (March 2017)

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

Firearms & Domestic Violence: Protecting Victims at the Most Dangerous Time (Rev. February 2016)

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

Related Policy Memos:

Battered Women's Justice Project: Memorandum to the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence on Whether to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence from Firearms Through Connecticut's Risk Warrant Statute or Through Connecticut Civil Restraining Order Statute as Ex Parte Relief (January 2016)

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.

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If you need help or just someone to talk to, please visit CTSafeConnect.org or call or text (888) 774-2900. Advocates available 24/7.

Si necesitas información o si solo quieres conversar con alguien, por favor visite CTSafeConnect.org o llamada or texto (888) 774-2900. Los consejeros estará disponible las 24 horas del día, los siete días de la semana.