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Domestic Violence Continues to Take Lives in Connecticut

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In 2014, there were 2,000 arrests in Connecticut for violations of court orders in intimate partner relationships. (Rusty Frank/Wikimedia Commons)
In 2014, there were 2,000 arrests in Connecticut for violations of court orders in intimate partner relationships. (Rusty Frank/Wikimedia Commons)
September 23, 2016

HARTFORD, Conn. – The latest numbers show domestic violence is still a deadly problem in Connecticut, but there's hope that a new law may help curb the violence. A new report from the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence said 231 people, mostly women, have died in intimate partner homicides since the year 2000.

According to the group's CEO, Karen Jarmoc, that's an average of 14 murders a year.

"We were encouraged to see there were fewer last year, eight, but already, we're not even through 2016 and unfortunately, the number is already at nine," she said.

Firearms are the most commonly-used weapons in domestic violence homicides. On October 1st, a new state law goes into effect requiring any person who is the subject of a temporary restraining order to surrender their guns to police.

Jarmoc points out that access to firearms in a relationship fraught with domestic violence increases the chance of homicide by 500 percent.

"Our hope is, that will offer a layer of safety to victims at a very critical time, and we'll be tracking the impact of those kinds of policy measures," she added.

Each year, Connecticut courts receive between 8,000-9,000 applications for civil restraining orders.

Jarmoc noted that in a number of cases, especially in the latest reporting year, there were violations of restraining orders in the months, weeks and days before a domestic homicide.

"If someone's willing to violate that order, they have no regard for the law and therefore, are very highly motivated to commit domestic violence homicide," Jarmoc explained.

The report recommends increased training for members of the legal community to help spot potentially deadly relationships.

The full report can be read here.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - CT