Report by Paula Antolini
June 4, 2017 9:58AM EDT
Rep. Harding Backs Legislation to Strengthen Domestic Violence Laws
HARTFORD – A bill co-sponsored by State Representative Stephen Harding (R-107) that would further strengthen Connecticut’s domestic violence laws has passed unanimously in both the house and senate
“It is our duty to protect the citizens of Connecticut in any way possible,” Rep. Harding said. “This bill will not only strengthen our current laws but ensure all victims are fully protected without the fear of retribution or retaliation.”
The legislation, HB-7299, An Act Concerning Strengthening Laws Concerning Domestic Violence, would make several changes to current laws.
- Specifies that electronic or social media are among the methods, devices, or means by which conduct that constitutes stalking may occur
- Broadens the strangulation statutes to include suffocation when a person obstructs another person’s nose or mouth
- Increases the penalty for violations of release conditions when the violation involves certain conduct
- Requires a presentence investigation for anyone convicted of a family violence crime for which a prison sentence may be imposed and prohibits them from waiving the investigation
According to statistics compiled by the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCA | DV), last year they served almost 34,000 adults and 6,000 children in Connecticut with 1/3 of all criminal court cases involving family violence. The most common types of abuse are stalking, strangulation, and threatening.
“The amount of victims in this state are staggering and it doesn’t account for all of the unreported cases that go on where the person involved is afraid to go to the police,” Rep. Harding said. “We as a legislative body are looking to provide all of the necessary resources we possibly can in an attempt to put a stop to these reprehensible acts.”
The bill now heads to the governor’s office for his signature.