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 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
2022 Legislative Session
The 2022 session of the CT General Assembly came to a close in May. CCADV saw several great successes in our advocacy this year, including securing over $8 million to support domestic violence survivors and providers! We were able to secure the first-ever state funding for domestic violence child and family advocates. An annual allocation of $1.4 million through the Dept. of Social Services will go to support one full-time child advocate at each of our 18 member organizations. We also worked with our counterparts at other victim services organizations, including the CT Alliance to End Sexual Violence, to secure one-time pandemic relief funds to help fill the funding gap created by a reduction in federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds. For domestic violence services, this one-time funding will help maintain current service levels related to essential court advocacy, law enforcement coordination, and crisis response.
Through the support of Governor Lamont and Lt. Governor Bysiewicz, our service system will also receive $2.9 million in one-time pandemic relief funds to provide emergency assistance directly to survivors. This funding will assist CCADV's 18 member organizations with providing critical assistance including food, transportation costs, basic needs, childcare assistance, housing, moving, utilities, and furniture assistance, needs which have substantially increased due to the pandemic. It will also be used to assist with growing costs related to the emergency use of hotels to shelter survivors during the pandemic, a significant unanticipated and unfunded cost.
Finally, we were also able to achieve two important new state policies. Beginning in 2023, all state employees will be required to view a one-hour virtual training on domestic violence that includes how to identify domestic violence, how it may impact the workplace, and the free resources available to victims across the state at our 18 member organizations. This training will serve as a critical public awareness tool for over 50,000 state employees, as well as offer state agencies the opportunity to lead on creating workplace cultures that foster support and resilience. As of October 1, 2022, domestic violence will be added as a protected class under the state’s anti-discrimination statutes related to employment, housing, public accommodations, and credit transactions. These new protections will help address some of the discrimination that can follow victims long after they've ended their abusive relationship.
Recent Legislative Changes
*The 2020 session of the CT General Assembly was canceled due to the pandemic so there is no summary available for that year.
Recent CCADV Policy Briefs:
Firearms & Domestic Violence: Protecting Victims at the Most Dangerous Time (Rev. February 2016)
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 email@example.com.