State police to adopt program to keep victims of domestic violence safe

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy Wednesday announced the Connecticut State Police will be adopting a lethality assessment program to keep victims of domestic violence safe by encouraging more victims to use shelters, counseling and advocacy and support services.

“The lethality assessment is an easy and effective method that identifies victims of domestic violence who are at heightened risk of being seriously injured or killed by their intimate partners and immediately connects them to the domestic violence service provider in their area,” said Malloy in a press release. “With practices like this in place, we will undoubtedly save lives. I commend the Connecticut State Police and the many municipal police departments for their adoption of this vital tool.”

Malloy has proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the State of Connecticut.

“We are currently readying all of our patrol troopers to incorporate the lethality assessment into their response to domestic violence calls starting this month,” said Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora B. Schriro in the governor’s press release. “It is our goal to train all of our troopers during October, which is Domestic Violence Prevention month, to underscore our commitment to those affected by domestic violence.”

The LAP is based upon research conducted by Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing over the past 25 years. The research states:

Only 4 percent of domestic violence murder victims nationwide had ever availed themselves of domestic violence program services;

In 50 percent of domestic violence-related homicides, officers had previously responded to a call at the scene; and

The re-assault of domestic violence victims in high danger was reduced by 60 percent if they went into shelter.

“Connecticut is truly strengthened by the implementation of the Lethality Assessment Program by the Connecticut State Police,” said Karen Jarmoc, CEO of Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which oversees the Lethality Assessment Program in Connecticut, said the release. “Lethality assessment has proven to be a very effective tool. Close to 80 percent of victims deemed by police to be in high danger situations have been immediately connected to their local domestic violence organization for safety planning. This is a life-saving tool and we look forward to working with Connecticut State Police to assist in its implementation.”

Maryland was the first state to adopt the LAP and experienced a 34 percent drop in intimate partner Domestic Violence homicides between July 2007 and June 2012. The LAP is now being used by hundreds of jurisdictions in 32 states. Currently, 33 municipal police departments in Connecticut are using it.

The Connecticut Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council is providing training to municipal police departments on the use of the LAP. The council has also voted unanimously to promulgate a model policy on the LAP.

Below are some important domestic violence statistics both nationally and in Connecticut, reported the governor’s office:

Nationally:

  • Every 9 seconds in the US, a woman is assaulted or beaten.
  • Every day in the US, three or more women are killed by their husbands or boyfriends.
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women, more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined.
  • Ninety-two percent of women surveyed said reducing domestic violence and sexual assault is their top concern.

 

Connecticut:

  • Since 2000, 188 victims have been killed in Connecticut as a result of intimate partner violence.
  • An average of 20,000 family violence incidents in Connecticut result in at least one arrest annually with 73 percent of these incidents involving intimate partners.
  • In 2013, one third of all cases in Connecticut’s criminal courts involve family violence and, in any given year, approximately 9,000 restraining order applications are filed in Connecticut’s family courts.

 

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