CT Policymakers! Be a Voice for Change
CCADV is the voice
against domestic violence across Connecticut.
We lead a statewide network focused on advocacy, outreach and education.
Our work transforms political, economic and social responses to end domestic violence in CT.
A key component of this work is advocating with local, state and federal policymakers to create and implement strong legislative and administrative policies that move us towards our vision of a world free from all forms of violence.
We're familiar faces in the halls of Connecticut’s Capitol building. We’ve worked closely with state lawmakers to move Connecticut to the forefront as a national leader on strong, survivor-centered laws.
We became the third state to explicitly address coercive control in civil restraining orders and family court matters, providing meaningful protections for the very real, non-physical violence that survivors often experience. We worked closely with our partners in law enforcement to demonstrate the value of a dominant aggressor provision to the state’s mandatory arrest law, resulting in a reduction to our historically high dual arrest rate. We defeated lobbying efforts by the NRA and ensured that firearms would be removed from the hands of abusers while under an ex parte restraining order.
We do this work every day to create a world where no person lives in fear.
2024 session priorities
The following priorities highlight focus areas for CCADV 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.
addressing maternal health
In 2023, CCADV released a report showing that nearly a third of individuals who experienced a pregnancy-associated death in Connecticut between 2015 and 2021 had experienced intimate partner violence at some point in their lifetime. There were multiple points of potential intervention during pre- and post-natal care for each of individuals who lost their lives, showing areas for increased communication and collaboration across systems.
One intervention to begin addressing this growing public health crisis of maternal deaths due to IPV is requiring all birthing hospitals in Connecticut to distribute information to postpartum patients about the increased risk of intimate partner violence following childbirth. Our proposal also ensures that this information is also provided electronically to obstetricians and gynecologists across the state to share with their patients. CCADV will work collaboratively with birthing hospitals and their association to offer training and education to all providers tasked with distributing this information to patients.
provide relief from coerced debt
Almost all abusive relationships involve some form of financial abuse – money is one of the most powerful tools that abusers have to keep their victims dependent upon them. For some victims, this abuse may include coerced debt. Coerced debt can involve forcing a partner to file fraudulent legal financial documents or overspend on credit cards. An abusive partner may incur debt without the survivor’s consent or coerce a survivor into incurring debt through threats of harm. The debt and resulting poor credit score can have long-term consequences for survivors, creating barriers to education, housing, and employment.
Our proposal defines coerced debt, provides victims relief from the collection of coerced debts and reporting of such debts on their credit reports, and ensures that creditors and financial institutions will, following the victim proving in court that debt was coerced, have the ability to pursue the debt from the person who created it. Similar measures have passed in CA, NY and MN, while bipartisan bills are being considered in NC and TN.
access to safe, stable, affordable housing
Last fiscal year, our members housed nearly 4,000 adults and children, including over 2,600 in shelter. The average length of stay in shelter was over 60 days and our shelters ran at 153% capacity. One of the greatest needs we see among survivors is the need for safe, stable, affordable housing. Emergency shelter should be just that – a temporary solution to an emergency. Yet moving survivors on from shelter to long-term housing that they can afford is becoming increasingly difficult in Connecticut. How do you leave if you have nowhere to go?
CCADV supports policies that truly increase affordable housing options in our state. And affordable housing options should be available everywhere – it is not easy for survivors to move their children to new schools or move away from the support systems they’ve built with family, friends, coworkers, healthcare providers, etc. A stable support system is critical to the safety and well-being of both the survivor and their children.
continue vital funding discussions
The Governor and General Assembly have stepped up to help address a dire shortfall that Connecticut, like all states, is experiencing with federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) through fiscal year 2025 (7.1.24 – 6.30.25). Nearly $48 million in pandemic relief funds (ARPA funds) have been allocated to support all victim services in the state, which, across the three year period during which funds have been allocated, included just over $11 million specifically for domestic violence services.
Unfortunately, the VOCA Fund has reached an all-time low in the number of deposits it has received, which will result in further cuts to state victim assistance grants in federal fiscal year 2024. The state has relied on VOCA to fund critical domestic violence services over the years, including all of our criminal and civil court advocates, adult advocates, law enforcement advocates, and our statewide domestic violence hotline. We will continue having discussions with policymakers and various state agencies about how we can strategically support core victim services here in Connecticut when ARPA funds are no longer available after June 2025.