Monday, October 1, 2012

Law seeks to help domestic violence victims

HARTFORD - A new state law aimed at providing better protection to victims of domestic violence goes into effect today.
The new law, or Public Act 12-114, is based on recommendations of the Domestic Violence Task Force.
“After listening to victim advocates, law enforcement officials, and other experts, we produced and passed aggressive legislation that will help those who are in abusive relationships and need support,” said State Rep. Mae Flexer, D-Killingly, Plainfield and Sterling, who heads the task force, in a press release.
The law gives police new tools for responding to incidents of domestic violence, including a requirement that municipal police departments develop and implement operational guidelines for arrest policies. The law also establishes a Family Violence Model Policy Governing Council to update the model policy going forward and review relevant data.
The law also permits judges to issue restraining orders for up to one year, rather than six months.
The law requires the Office of Statewide Emergency Telecommunications to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of developing a 911 texting system.
It also requires that courts share protective orders with schools that victims attend, upon request of a victim. Current law requires orders to be shared with the police departments in the town where the victim lives and works, and the town where the defendant lives, but it does not require that schools or campus police are notified of an order.
Threatening with a firearm has been a misdemeanor in Connecticut, and this law makes threats that involve the use of a firearm a felony crime.
- From a legislative press release

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