posted in Family Law
on Wednesday, March 14, 2012.
After the release of a new study, Connecticut may have a better understanding of its spousal-abuse issue. Researchers with the Connecticut Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee looked at state records and re-examined fatalities caused by domestic violence that occurred between the years of 2000 and 2009.
The committee consisted of prosecutors, investigators, abuse victims and representatives from the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Tasked with reviewing nearly 150 cases of fatalities at the hands of an intimate partner, the group found several interesting statistics.
According to the study, 71 percent of the fatalities were homicides, while the remaining 29 percent were murder-suicides.
In Connecticut, there are 18 domestic violence agencies. According to interviews with family members of the victims, many victims and their families did not know that services such as this existed. Too often, victims would go without help.
Another statistic found by the review committee indicated that the potential for abuse increased directly after a major event in the relationship. In some cases, this was a break-up or a divorce. Other cases involved the loss of custodial rights for the abuser. According to the findings, any event that detracted from the power of the abuser often resulted in more violence.
The handling of domestic violence complaints by police and the training involved was also examined. The study found that this training was inadequate. An expert in violence against women believes that how the initial complaint is addressed is a direct indicator of how the rest of the story plays out. If police do not act, it is unlikely that the victim will turn to the police again.
Spouses who are being abused should know that they can consult with a family law attorney, who can work on getting a restraining order while respecting a victim’s privacy.
Source: The Day, “The tragic consequences of doing nothing,” Feb. 26, 2012