The new law means that domestic violence offenders will have to surrender their firearms to police or sell them to licensed firearm dealers.

USA: Connecticut - new domestic violence law signed

5 August 2011

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) - A ceremonial signing of a new law that will strengthen Connecticut's response to domestic violence was held at the State Capitol today.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy attended the ceremony that was recommended by the Speaker's Task Force on Domestic Violence. The law was created by House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan (D-Meriden) in 2009 and led by State Representative Mae Flexer (D-Killingly, Plainfield, Sterling.)

A number of meetings had been held by the task force over the past year to find ways the state could augment domestic violence reforms.

The law makes its easier for victims who have experienced stalking to request a restraining order. The law also clarifies that domestic violence victims of any age can request restraining orders, including teens. Furthermore, police have the authority to make a domestic violence arrest in dating relationships. If a domestic violence crime is committed within a dating relationship the party or parties committing the crime are no longer exempt from being arrested.

"Domestic violence is sometimes seen as a private problem, but it is all of our responsibility to be vigilant, to help victims to seek assistance, to promote prevention, and to advocate for changes that make domestic violence socially unacceptable. This new law goes a long way in doing just that," said Speaker Donovan in a written statement.

The new law will also improve access to domestic violence services by requiring police officers to provide victims with information about domestic violence, so they can get counseling an emergency services.

Families of victims of domestic violence will be able to receive restitution and offenders will have to surrender their firearms to police or sell them to licensed firearm dealers.

The law requires judicial branch staff to disclose to the state Department of Children and Families information about a defendant who poses a threat to a child. It also permits judicial branch family relations counselors to disclose information about a defendant to pretrial programs to ensure they provide appropriate services and to adult probation officers to ensure appropriate sentencing.

"Not only is this the second new law strengthening our domestic violence laws, but the state budget also included funding that will allow domestic violence shelters to remain open 24 hours a day and seven days a week," said Rep. Flexer.

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