Domestic Violence- Battered Lives; The Statistics Draw Attention, And The Victims Keep Suffering


Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] Battered Mothers Rights - A Human Rights Issue.




    Domestic Violence: The Statistics Draw Attention, And The Victims Keep Suffering

  • 16,802 estimated family violence incidents in Connecticut year-to-date, based on 2007 data.

  • Domestic Violence Blog: Overcoming Battered Lives

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    Contact Connecticut's statewide domestic violence hotline at 888-774-2900 for immediate help.

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  • Epidemics and Plagues

  • Abusive Behavior

  • Richard Blumenthal

      Between February and the end of August this year, five women were killed in Connecticut, another woman was kidnapped in downtown Hartford and held hostage for hours before escaping, and an 8-month-old girl was choked and stabbed, though she survived.

      All seven crimes have been connected to boyfriends, husbands and, in the last case, a father. All have been classified as domestic violence.

      But what's most extraordinary about these cases is that although each drew attention for its horrific details, as a group they represent business as usual in Connecticut. Every year in our small state, between 20 and 25 women are killed by men who say they love them. And that is a small percentage of the roughly 50,000 overall victims of domestic violence in Connecticut each year.

      By the beginning of September, The Courant and Fox61 had begun an effort to shine a light on this long-standing epidemic of domestic violence. Since then, in TV reports and in the newspaper, viewers and readers have learned what many may not have known:

      Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts, after studying his department's statistics over the past few years, announced that one-third of aggravated assaults in the capital city are related to domestic violence. As a result, he created a Domestic Violence Response Unit to fight that trend.

      Another initiative, called Men Make A Difference, is being led by state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Interval House, which helped about 6,000 adults in 2008. The effort recognizes that while most batterers are men, most men are not batterers, and those involved in the initiative are reaching out to teenagers and men to discuss their attitudes about women and relationships.

      Although there have been efforts in the past 25 years to strengthen state laws to better protect women and their families, state courts vary widely in how they handle domestic violence cases. In 2007, conviction rates ranged from a high of 33 percent to a low of 9 percent.

      The state agency in charge of a fund to help domestic violence shelters has released none of the money — more than $1 million — in two years, despite an increased need in services. The cause of the nonpayment is a still-unresolved dispute over whether the fund can legally be used for staff salaries. Meanwhile, just two of 16 shelters in the state have round-the-clock staffing.

      In the months ahead, the "Battered Lives" series will continue in both print and on TV. Today, we offer a synopsis of what we've learned thus far, in hopes that it will illuminate where we, as a state, need to go.

      — Courant Staff

      Copyright © 2009, The Hartford Courant

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    Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] Battered Mothers Rights - A Human Rights Issue.