Advocacy & Outreach

Create Safer Communities

 

Creating a world where
survivors can thrive.

 

As the voice against domestic violence in Connecticut, we lead a statewide network focused on advocacy, outreach and education. Working with our 18 member organizations across the state, we provide critical support, convene local, state, and national stakeholders, and collaborate with partners at all levels to ensure survivors and their families have access to and receive the services they need to thrive.

CCADV’s team of committed professionals focuses on a number of programs that impact critical areas of need often experienced by survivors. Our staff works to create systems level change to ensure strong policies and procedures underpin both the government and community-based services intended to support survivors. More than 400 advocates across the state at our 18 member organizations and Safe Connect work directly with survivors to ensure they can access those services.

 

Our work transforms social, political + economic responses to end DV in CT.

Children Diversity & Accessibility Healthcare Advocacy Housing Law Enforcement + Fatality Review Legal Offender Program Standards

Children

 

While witnessing domestic violence can have a profound effect on children, CCADV believes in the strength and resiliency of every child and family.

By addressing the abuse that kids have witnessed while they’re still young and providing comprehensive, holistic services that strengthen a family’s protective factors, we give kids the skills they need to not be defined by what they have witnessed but to instead thrive. CCADV coordinates and supports the Child & Family Advocates across our membership who provide essential direct services to children and the survivor parent that strengthens their bond.

We research and provide technical support for the trauma-informed, evidence-based and resiliency-driven approaches that guide these services.

Our Director of Child Advocacy works to effect meaningful change within government and community-based systems that impact families to ensure that the unique needs of survivors and their children are recognized and respected.

For more information, please contact Kelly Annelli, Director of Child Advocacy, at (959) 202-5004 or kannelli@ctcadv.org.

 

Over 1,000 children reside in a Connecticut domestic violence shelter each year. Most are 6 years old or younger.

 

 

Diversity & Accessibility

 

CCADV is committed to creating equitable access to services for all survivors including those from traditionally underserved communities. Rates of domestic violence are higher among people of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and immigrants. The abuse they experience often intersects with poverty, stigma and marginalization making their needs greater and more complex. We must uplift the voices of these survivors, centering their lived experiences in our work if we hope to dismantle the barriers that prevent many from even viewing the domestic violence service system as a viable option.

Our staff works to provide the training, infrastructure and technical support both within our own service system and with other community-based organizations to support a consistent, authentic and respectful approach to meeting the needs of survivors from underserved communities. This includes establishing strong partnerships with leaders from within these communities to build a collaborative service model that allows survivors to access help from those people and places with which they feel most comfortable.

For more information, please contact Sedwhyde Dumont, Director of Diversity & Accessibility, at (959) 202-5029 or sdumont@ctcadv.org.

 

We’re working to raise up the lived experiences of all survivors because all survivors deserve meaningful services that address their unique needs.

 

 

Healthcare Advocacy

 

Health and community providers are key to our work of ending the public health crisis of intimate partner violence and its significant, long-term health consequences. They are uniquely positioned in this work due to the number of people who come through their doors and the relationships that they build.

Our Health Professional Outreach Project works with health and community providers to establish a meaningful, sustainable approach to educating patients and clients about intimate partner violence. This includes training professionals to understand the prevalence and dynamics of intimate partner violence, how to talk with and educate individuals about it, and best practices for responding and referring individuals to services available at CCADV’s 18 member organizations.

Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, over the next few years we’ll have a special focus on pregnant individuals. Did you know that 1 in 6 abused women is first abused during pregnancy? Intimate partner violence is more common than gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, which are both discussed and monitored at length during and after pregnancy. We’re working to ensure the same happens for domestic violence!

For more information or to schedule a free training session for your healthcare or community setting, please contact Ashley Starr Frechette, Director of Health Professional Outreach at (959) 202-5014 or astarrfrechette@ctcadv.org.

 

Survivors are 4x more likely to utilize domestic violence services after talking with their healthcare provider about the abuse.

 

Housing

 

Access to safe, affordable housing and its impact on a person’s ability to achieve economic self-sufficiency is one of the greatest challenges survivors contend with when deciding to leave an abusive relationship. Through a partnership with the CT Department of Housing and a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, CCADV’s Domestic Violence & Human Trafficking Rapid Re-Housing program seeks to address that challenge. By offering housing location services, temporary rent subsidies, trauma-informed case management, and economic empowerment and financial education, the rapid re-housing program is having a truly transformative impact on survivors and their families.

We also advocate for meaningful change across Connecticut’s housing system because we know that when a survivor cannot find housing, they are more likely to remain with or return to living with their abuser. Through collaborations with a variety of housing stakeholders, we are able to educate the community about the unique safety and confidentiality needs of survivors, contributing to an increasing number of flexible options and solutions.    

If you’re a landlord looking to participate in our rapid re-housing program, please contact Shannon Santini, Rapid Rehousing Finance & Compliance Manager, at (959) 202-5077 or ssantini@ctcadv.org.

 

Domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and children nationwide.

Law Enforcement
& Fatality Review

 

The role of law enforcement in domestic violence is substantial. While not all survivors choose to engage with the criminal justice system, when they do, it is critical that the response be just and trauma-informed. Our law enforcement initiative develops collaborative relationships with law enforcement, creating systems change through extensive training and technical assistance. We also oversee the state’s Lethality Assessment Program, a specialized risk assessment tool utilized by police during incidents of intimate partner violence that determines the survivor’s risk of fatal violence and immediately connects them with an advocate at one of our 18 member organizations.

Our Director of Law Enforcement Services also chairs our Domestic Violence Fatality Review Task Force. For over twenty years this multidisciplinary group has worked to impact systemic policy and practice with the goal of preventing future intimate partner homicides. Members’ collective knowledge and expertise offers meaningful assessments of key points of prevention and intervention that could be strengthened to enhance survivor safety and increase offender accountability.

For more information, please contact Dan Cargill, Director of Law Enforcement Services, at (959) 202-5007 or dcargill@ctcadv.org.

 

Nearly 100% of survivors identified as “high danger” under the Lethality Assessment Program followed up with domestic violence services.

 

Legal

 

Whether dealing with the aftermath of an arrest, seeking a civil restraining order, or navigating custody issues, court can be an overwhelming but necessary part of a survivor’s journey. Our legal advocacy project works to ensure consistent, trauma-informed responses throughout Connecticut’s civil and criminal court systems, collaborating with key stakeholders including judges, prosecutors, court support staff, correction officials, and private attorneys. We work closely with advocates at our 18 member organizations, also called Family Violence Victim Advocates, who are stationed in most Connecticut court houses to provide direct legal advocacy for survivors, guiding them through the court process while providing support and other related services.

Access to legal representation is a frequent request among survivors. While our legal advocacy project is not funded to provide direct legal representation, we do coordinate a pro-bono restraining order project that provides legal representation to survivors during restraining order hearings at certain court houses in Connecticut. Consultation and representation at this critical time are essential in providing survivors with the best opportunity to secure needed protection. We are continuously working to expand this important resource to more court locations. If you are an attorney interested in volunteering your time, please visit our Pro Bono Restraining Order Project page.

For more information, please contact either Geralyn O’Neil-Wild, Director of Criminal Legal Advocacy, at (959) 202-5018 or gwild@ctcadv.org or Rhonda Morra, Director of Civil Legal Advocacy, at (959) 202-5011 or rmorra@ctcadv.org.

One third of Connecticut’s criminal court cases involve domestic violence.

 

Domestic Violence
Offender Program Standards 

 
Holding offenders accountable while supporting their opportunity to change. 

Established pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes 46b-38l, CCADV co-chairs the Domestic Violence Offender Program Standards Advisory Council along with staff from the Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division. The program standards are intended to serve as a framework for new and existing program providers to develop and deliver services to people arrested for committing violence against a current or former intimate partner or people identified as needing services in order to prevent acts of domestic violence.

 

Learn more about Batterer Intervention

 

Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners & children when they grow up.