Sadly, some families are torn apart by domestic violence. A recent study has shown that, in 2009, 10 out of 11 domestic violence fatalities in Connecticut occurred in the presence of children. These statistics reflect the severe trauma that domestic violence can have on children. In many of these cases, individuals were unaware of the agencies designed to help victims of domestic violence.
An 11-member committee has been reviewing more than 140 cases of domestic violence dating back to 2000. All of the cases involved murder, and the committee found that many cases were sparked by a divorce, breakup or child custody dispute. This committee, known as the Connecticut Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee, published its first set of findings recently.
The individuals on the committee come from all sorts of backgrounds related to domestic violence. From police officers to homicide survivors, many of the people on the committee have been affected in some way by domestic violence. The committee says the findings show that more work must be done to educate communities of what to do if faced with domestic violence.
This information cannot come soon enough as the Hartford-area community alone has seen three domestic violence fatalities in recent months. Instead of waiting for individuals to ask for help, the review committee has suggested that agencies make concerted efforts to reach out to members of the community. Perhaps if victims are more aware that there is help, unnecessary loss of life can be prevented.
To initiate this effort, the committee has plans to launch a campaign promoting domestic violence awareness. The committee is also planning to partner with the Department of Children and Families to help provide adequate services for children who are caught in instances of domestic violence.
As this information indicates, it is very important that victims of domestic violence know that there is help available. Temporary and permanent restraining orders can be enacted to help ensure that victims are safe from their abusers. Hopefully this committee’s efforts will help raise much-needed awareness about domestic violence in Connecticut.
Source: Record-Journal, “Few seek help in domestic violence cases,” Mary Ellen Godin, July 25, 2011