Roraback Bill to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence Passes General Assembly

March 29, 2007

Legislation allows police to issue weekend restraining orders and creates separate crime of strangulation

Hartford, CT – The Connecticut House of Representatives today passed H.B. 7313, An Act Concerning Domestic Violence, by a vote of 145-1. This bill, introduced by State Senator Andrew Roraback (R-Goshen), will give police departments the authority to issue protective orders in domestic violence cases over the weekend when the courts are not open. Under current law, police have no authority to prevent someone arrested for domestic abuse from posting bond and returning to a home shared with the victim. The legislation, which passed the State Senate on
May 24, now heads to Governor Rell’s desk where it is expected to be signed into law.

“This bill is an excellent example of the good that can happen when communication takes place between and among police, prosecutors, public defenders, and victims’ advocates,” said Senator Roraback. “Everybody brought something to this bill and everybody takes something away from it. Most importantly, the law will provide a necessary level of protection to victims of domestic violence that doesn’t exist under current law.”

In addition to the provision allowing police to issue weekend restraining orders, the bill creates a new domestic violence crime of strangulation and allows police to seize stun guns from a person arrested for domestic violence and permits police, when children are present in the home during a domestic violence dispute, to permit one parent to stay at the home rather than be arrested pursuant to a promise to appear at a later date.

Senator Roraback worked closely with advocates from the domestic violence community and numerous state officials to craft this legislation. He has met on several occasions with current and former Chief State’s Attorneys, Chief Public Defenders, as well as representatives from the Judicial Branch, the State Police Chief’s Association, and the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Roraback’s Domestic Violence bill passed the state Senate in 2006, but was never brought up for a vote on the floor of the House.

Senator Roraback is an Assistant Minority Leader and represents the 30th district communities of Brookfield, Canaan, Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Milford, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, Torrington, Warren, Washington, and Winchester.