After more than two years of working with domestic violence survivors, Connecticut State Senator Alex Kasser was celebrating the near-unanimous support of the passage of Senate Bill 1091 aka Jennifer's Law.
The law is named after Jennifer Farber Dulos, of New Canaan, who disappeared in 2019 and whose late husband was charged with her brutal murder, and Jennifer Magnano, of Terryville, Connecticut, who was shot dead by her husband in 2007.
Dulos has never been found.
The bill, which passed Tuesday, May 18, in a 35-1 vote, would expand the definition of domestic violence to include “coercive control,” if signed into law.
It was combined with another that deals more with restraining orders, and broadens the scope of domestic violence laws, bringing them into the 21st Century.
Kasser said after the passage said, "This is the first time CT will have a definition of Domestic Violence for all Family Court cases - custody, divorce, and restraining orders."
And, she added, the first time that non-physical abuse, aka coercive control, is recognized as a part of the control abusers have over their victims.
Thirty-three percent of women who are killed by a partner were never hurt by him before, Kasser said.
"Their murder is the first act of violence," she added. "With this law, courts can finally identify abuse long before it becomes deadly. I'm so grateful to all the brave survivors who fought for this legislation and fight for their freedom."
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