News Published: Aug 16, 2012 - 12:47:43 AM

CCADV: Domestic violence victims report emotional, verbal and physical abuse

By Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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Hartford, CT - A vast majority of Connecticut domestic violence victims reaching out for help thus far this year through the National Domestic Violence Hotline are reporting emotional, verbal and physical violence. Additionally, nearly a quarter of callers are asking for assistance to obtain an order of protection or advocacy in court. Connecticut is ranked 31st in terms of hotline call volume with the majority of calls emulating from the Hartford region.

According to a recent six month data report issued by The National Domestic Violence Hotline, 97% of victims calling indicate that their abuser engages in emotional/verbal manipulation through degradation, threats, insults, humiliation and isolation. Most concerning from the report is an indicator that 71% of victims calling - 515 in the past six months - reveal that their partner has physically harmed them through hitting, biting or choking. According to the Connecticut Domestic Violence Fatality Review Committee, the state averages 16 domestic violence homicides annually.

Karen Jarmoc, Executive Director of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence ("CCADV") notes that these findings are consistent with statewide trends. As the leading voice for victims of domestic violence and those who serve them, CCADV maintains that battering is a serious problem in Connecticut. "More than 54,000 victims are served annually by our statewide organization and its member agencies, with nearly 22,000 calls being made each year to Connecticut's statewide hotline for help," said Jarmoc.

The Coalition's most recent findings regarding domestic violence fatalities reveal a need for increased public information about risk factors that victims and those around them should be aware of. The 2012 Connecticut Domestic Violence Fatality Review Report maintains that the risk of violence increases substantially during the time that a victim is leaving the relationship. CCADV and many of its member agencies will take steps to address lethality and safety next month when they partner with law enforcement to implement risk assessment and intervention strategies at the scene of a domestic violence incident. Connecticut was selected as one of ten across the country to participate in a model lethality assessment program, which has been proven to significantly decrease domestic violence homicide.

"This most recent report from one of our national partners provides our statewide organization with important data to support our determinations which call for increased awareness and intervention at critical points for victims," said Jarmoc. "We continually aim to do better by reaching victims and providing safety before the violence starts and escalates."

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