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Are victims of domestic violence guilty too?

Connecticut currently holds the highest rate of dual arrest in regards to domestic abuse arrests. Victims of domestic violence who decide to take a stand against their abuser and physically fight back may find themselves charged with domestic abuse, even though they were not the dominant aggressor. New legislation is currently being sought to change the wording to allow Connecticut police to make the distinction and, hopefully, encourage more victims to speak out.

A woman who alleges she is a victim of domestic says that she had endured months of emotional and physical abuse at the hands of her significant other. When he had her pinned against a dresser and was repeatedly punching her, she decided she had had enough and fought back. Th woman was able to free herself, grab her newborn daughter and flee the apartment. She went straight to her local police station.

After an interview with police and retelling the incident, the woman was placed under arrest. Confused and feeling terribly mistaken, the woman reached out to the Susan B. Anthony Project to receive help only to learn that current Connecticut legislation requires that both parties, if physical with one another, be arrested. The dual arrest rate in Connecticut doubles the national average, which could be one reason many victims of domestic violence do not seek help.

For those who find they are the victims in an abusive relationship, seeking help from local authorities can seem unnerving and stressful. Many resources outside of law enforcement are available in Connecticut to help victims and their children leave their abusers. An attorney can help victims of domestic violence obtain a restraining order and guide them through the steps necessary to file for divorce, if applicable. The attorney can also help one to file for child custody and child support.

Source: nbcconnecticut.com, "CT Domestic Violence Dual Arrests Double National Average", Jill Konopka, Feb. 13, 2018

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