On average, there are 15 intimate partner homicides each year in Connecticut. That's just one statistic from the state domestic violence fatality review report, but another stat has startled prevention advocates into action.
Karen Jarmoc, who leads the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said the latest fatality review report uncovered a troubling fact. "In the majority of domestic violence homicides," she said, "victims and their families, we are learning, were not aware of where to get help. They weren't even necessarily seeing themselves in a domestic violence situation."
Jarmoc said it was a wake up call or the state to raise awareness about where victims can go for help. She said, "Our 18 domestic violence agencies across the state served over 56,000 victims of domestic violence through shelters, and the hotline, and court advocacy. It's important that we look at prevention, and what we can be doing with limited resources to stop the cycle of violence within families in our state."
The coalition spent the last year and a half drafting a statewide domestic violence prevention plan, something Jarmoc said exists in other states, but not in Connecticut, until now. The plan focuses on educating the community, especially youth, about risk factors for intimate partner violence and awareness about services available.
This week, the Coalition against Domestic Violence is launching its 10x10 campaign that calls on male leaders in the community to talk about the importance of healthy relationships. Meanwhile, Jarmoc reminded residents that no matter what part of the state they live, there is a regional domestic violence agency that can offer free, confidential help.
Call 888-774-2900 for help or to talk to someone.