Sen. Seminara Backs Heightened Protections for Domestic Violence Victims

May 17, 2023


CONTACT: Hannah Lemek – [email protected] – 860.406.1939 (Cell)
May 17th, 2023
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Sen. Seminara Backs Heightened Protections for Domestic Violence Victims

HARTFORD- Today, Senator Lisa Seminara (R-Avon) applauds the State Senate’s passage of legislation to provide for greater protections for victims of domestic and intimate partner violence, 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.

“The bill helps to protect victims of domestic and intimate partner violence and gives them a safety net from their abuser,” Sen. Seminara said. “We hope that there is never a need to use this legislation, but this is a guaranteed protection for victims in the future.”

S.B. 5 would prohibit abusers from collecting alimony from their victims and expand the state’s domestic violence offender electronic monitoring system.

In 2021, the legislation coined “Jennifer’s Law,” in honor of missing New Canaan mother Jennifer Dulos, 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.

Here are some key statistics on domestic and sexual violence and how to reach out for help:

  • More than 43 million women and 38 million men have been the victim of psychological aggression by an intimate partner, the CDC says.
  • In the 2021 fiscal year, Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence served 38,989 victims and received 41,654 calls for help. 2,950 domestic violence victims received housing support in Connecticut in 2021 through the CCADV.
  • Domestic violence shelters operated at 156% capacity in 2021. The average amount of time that a victim remained in a shelter was 51.1 days. Of those who received housing support, 100% of victims reported that their children felt safer and 93% said they felt safer, according to the CCADV
  • Help is available 24/7 via call, email, text or live chat through CT Safe Connect at or 888-774-2900. The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at 800-799-SAFE.

An overview of domestic violence in the United States:

  • Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crimes annually in the United States.
  • More than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced either physical violence, rape, or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Victims are commonly abused by those who are closest to them.
  • Each day in the United States, over 20,000 calls are placed to domestic violence hotlines by individuals reporting incidents.
  • On average, 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner. This is an astounding number that shows just how prevalent this is in our society.
  • A weapon is used in 19% of domestic violence incidents.
  • Women who are victims of intimate partner violence are most likely to be between the ages of 18 to 24.

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.

It awaits a vote in the House of Representatives.

Cell: (860) 406-1939