Millions of people nationwide, including here in Connecticut, are victims of domestic violence. Spousal abuse often goes unnoticed, minimized or ignored by others because -- in many cases -- it is not physical violence but other forms of abuse. Victims of such abuse often avoid reporting it because they fear for their own safety and the safety of their children.
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.
Connecticut residents may have gotten the news that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. However, few people realize that many victims of domestic violence are men. Women certainly suffer from domestic violence far more frequently than men do, but we shouldn't assume that men aren't also subject to domestic abuse.
When police arrive at the scene of a domestic dispute in Connecticut, they will now have in their possession a checklist that is meant to help officers determine exactly how serious the situation is. The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence is the driving force behind the new training program being piloted in 14 communities.