Connecticut law defines family violence as a violent or non-violent event between family or household members that causes physical injury or creates fear that a physical injury is imminent. Household or family members may include spouses, people in a relationship, and/or who live together, or who have a child together. Verbal abuse or arguments are not necessarily types of family violence unless there is a clear and present danger, and can lead to physical injury taking place. Discipline of minors by parents and/or guardians may not be viewed as family violence unless abuse has occurred.
Are there protections for those subjected to domestic violence?
If a family or household members is continuously threatened of physical pain or injury by another family or household member, that person may be able to apply for a restraining order with the Superior Court. Although not an exhaustive list of possible protections, a restraining order may protect the victim by prohibiting the other person from:
- being within a certain distance from the victim
- harassing the victim
- assaulting the victim
- attacking the victim
- threatening to hurt the victim
- and/or initiating contact with the victim
Courts have the jurisdiction to extend orders to protect the victim’s minor children. The court will also decide how long the restraining order will be in effect and how long it will be enforceable. A victim of domestic violence may apply for the restraining order to stay in effect for an extended period of time, and then the court may grant the victim’s request to extend the restraining order.