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New bill in Connecticut set to alter domestic violence laws

The state House of Representatives has just passed a new bill that will modify existing laws for certain violent crimes. Specifically, the new bill put forth here in Connecticut will make changes to laws governing domestic violence and crimes of a sexual nature. Thankfully, the bill is slated to improve the lot of victims rather than provide more protection for perpetrators.

This legislation addresses several flaws in the existing legal framework as it pertains to domestic violence and sexual violence cases. For example, it provides additional protection to those who have sought a restraining order against a violent partner. Sexual assault victims stuck in rental agreements will, in some cases, be able to terminate those agreements without penalty.

Additionally, the bill will require courthouses to separate defendants from victims in cases of domestic or sexual violence, providing a separate area for victims and their representation well away from the accused perpetrator. A new task force will also be created pursuant to this bill. This task force's primary function will be to further investigate scenarios in which a victim of sexual violence who is not part of the perpetrator's immediate family can file for a restraining order.

This new bill represents a step forward for Connecticut lawmakers seeking to limit the devastating effects of domestic violence and sexual violence on its citizens. However, these cases still have the capacity to be complicated and emotionally draining for victims seeking justice. Additional support is available for victims and their families; it may be beneficial for victims to make full use of these resources during and after any court case.

Source: New Haven Register, "Connecticut bill modifies domestic violence laws," May 23, 2013

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