(Photo) Sen. Somers Backs Heightened Protections for Domestic Violence Victims

May 17, 2023

For Immediate Release

Sen. Somers Backs Heightened Protections for Domestic Violence Victims

Sen. Heather Somers applauded the State Senate’s May 16 passage of legislation she is co-sponsoring to provide for greater protections for domestic violence victims, including ending the practice of allowing some abusers to receive alimony.

Currently, an abuser can physically assault a victim, and then she could be ordered later in divorce court to pay him alimony.

Senate Bill 5 would prohibit abusers from collecting alimony from their victims and expand the state’s domestic violence offender electronic monitoring system. It awaits a vote in the House of Representatives.

“We continue our bipartisan efforts to better protect domestic violence victims and survivors,” Sen. Somers said.  “This legislation can prevent tragedies and save lives.”

Last year, Sen. Somers supported legislation prohibiting discrimination based on a person’s status as a domestic violence victim in employment, public accommodations, housing and the granting of credit.

In 2021, Sen. Somers supported “Jennifer’s Law” which expanded the definition of domestic violence in state law to include “coercive control.” This means that threatening, humiliating, or intimidating acts that harm a person and deprive them of their freedom is now considered domestic violence. Jennifer’s Law also established a new program to provide legal representation for domestic violence victims who file restraining orders.

Connecticut’s free, confidential domestic violence hotline can be reached 24/7 at 1-888-774-2900 for services in English and 1-844-831-9200 for services in Spanish.