Domestic Violence Bill Heads to the Governor’s Desk For Final Signature

May 14, 2018

By: Senator John A. Kissel

It is a busy week in Hartford, with both the Senate and House passing legislation that will help to move our state forward. A piece of legislation that I have been working on throughout this legislative session is Senate Bill 466, An Act Concerning Dual Arrests and the Training Required of Law Enforcement Personnel with Respect to Domestic Violence.

This bill would add a dominant aggressor provision to the law in an effort to reduce Connecticut’s intimate partner violence dual arrest rate, which currently stands at more than twice the national average. Under the bill, a dominant aggressor is the person who poses the most serious ongoing threat in a situation involving a suspected family violence crime.

The bill calls for changing Connecticut’s family violence arrest law to clarify that when receiving complaints from two or more opposing parties, law enforcement must determine which party is the dominant aggressor; similar laws exists in 27 other states.

The good news is that late last week the House, in concurrence with the Senate, passed this legislation in an overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion.

These dual arrests can have a devastating impact on a victim not only financially, but emotionally. With this bill Connecticut will take important steps to protect victims of domestic violence and their children.

At the end of the day the legislation will help victims of domestic violence feel safer to call law enforcement when they are in danger; this bill protects men, women and children, and it will help protect Connecticut families.

I want to extend a thank you to my colleagues and the advocates that worked on this legislation, which now heads to the governor’s desk for final signature.

Stay tuned next week for a full legislative recap and as always if you have any concerns please call me at 800-842-1421.