Attorney General Press Release Header
January 11, 2012



(HARTFORD) – Attorney General George Jepsen has joined with 52 other state and territorial Attorneys General in urging Congress to continue government support for vital programs that help women and families who fall victim to domestic violence.

The Attorneys General sent a letter today asking Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”), first passed in 1994, which is credited with helping to reduce rates of domestic violence and making services available to victims and families on the local, state and federal levels.

“Unfortunately the need for these programs has not gone away in Connecticut or the rest of the country,” Attorney General Jepsen said. “Women, particularly young women and mothers of young children, need help more than ever to protect themselves from violence and abuse. Continued funding would ensure that help -- from domestic violence hotlines to emergency shelter, transportation and legal representation— continues to be available.”

The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence reported that 54,178 victims of domestic violence were helped by the Coalition’s 18 agencies during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011.

Among them: 21,986 were victims in crisis; 1,364 adults and 1,038 children stayed in emergency safe homes because they were in serious physical danger and had no other safe options; and 13,062 adults, 283 teens experienced dating violence and 908 children received support services, such as counseling, legal advocacy, referrals and assistance with developing safety plans.

These programs also reported that the economy and high unemployment have created a greater demand for services, while funding has decreased.

“We can’t allow this critical network of support to shut down for lack of funding,” Jepsen said.

The Violence Against Women Act was last reauthorized in 2006. The Attorneys General said that reauthorization would also allow development of new programs aimed at addressing the high rates of domestic violence, intimate partner violence, dating violence and sexual assault against women aged 16-24; sharing best practices to help law enforcement, healthcare and legal systems improve their response to sexual assault victims; and improve training for law enforcement, victim advocates and others to help prevent domestic violence homicides.

“Reauthorizing VAWA will send a clear message that this country does not tolerate violence against women and show Congress’ commitment to reducing domestic violence, protecting women from sexual assault and securing justice for victims,” the Attorneys General wrote.

Attorney General Jepsen has long been an advocate against domestic violence and as a legislative leader co-authored Connecticut’s first comprehensive plan to prevent violence against women.

A member of the Men Make A Difference, Men Against Domestic Violence advisory group, Jepsen added a domestic violence resource page to the Attorney General’s website. The information may be accessed at

Jepsen encouraged anyone dealing with domestic violence issues to contact the 24-hour, toll-free hotline of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The number is 1-888-774-2900.

View the letter - (PDF - 436KB)


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