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During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it's important to speak out, Connecticut advocates say

October is domestic violence awareness month.
Elena Merkulova
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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Connecticut advocates and elected officials gathered Monday to discuss what they describe as a “shadow pandemic.”

There has been a rise in violence during the pandemic, said Mary-Jane Foster, president and CEO of Interval House, a Hartford-based agency focused on domestic violence. Although about 90% of abusers are men, not all men are abusers, she said.

“With 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men being impacted in their lifetimes by domestic violence, the designation is welcome, and unfortunately, ever more necessary,” Foster said. “It’s our work to launch this month of October by speaking out.”

Officials noted that men can play a role in being part of the solution to addressing domestic violence. The Men Make a Difference campaign encourages men to be a part of the solution by speaking out on these issues. The campaign was launched by Interval House and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Paramedics and police are often the first responders to scenes of domestic violence – and the action taken after these types of calls is crucial, said Kevin Ferrarotti, senior system director of EMS for Hartford HealthCare.

“That response must be done through awareness, prevention and support,” he said. “Victims need to be aware that there is support available.”

It’s important to raise awareness about domestic violence, Richard Brown said.

“We all have a voice and we all have a choice,” he said. “So even in that moment that you, yourself, if you are aware of someone who has been impacted, and you’re not sure what to do, the first thing I would say, is call.”

Connecticut’s statewide domestic violence hotline is 888-774-2900.


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