Connecticut has a serious problem with Dual Arrests, Bill SB466 is being considered to address this issue and we need your support!
411 on Dual Arrests:
A dual arrest occurs when both the victim and their abuser are arrested at the scene of a domestic violence incident. Connecticut’s intimate partner dual arrest rate is 20%, which is more than twice the national average of 7% (these are incidents specifically involving spouses, exes, dating partners, and individuals who have a child in common). This has been a 30 year, statewide challenge for Connecticut. This trend cuts across diverse socio-economic communities through rural, suburban, and urban settings.
Dual arrests have both short- and long-term consequences for victims, families, and the criminal justice system:
Decreases victim safety – When a victim is dually arrested, it has a chilling effect on that victim’s willingness to call the police for help in the future. This makes the victim much less safe moving forward.
Financial consequences – The victim is now thrust into the criminal justice system as a defendant and may need to hire an attorney, miss work to attend court dates, or hire childcare to attend court dates.
Additional trauma for children – When children see the parent they identify as the “true victim” arrested, they often develop a similar distrust of police and the criminal justice system.
Hinders prosecution – Dually arrested victims have little incentive to cooperate with the prosecutor because they themselves are facing prosecution. A dual arrest also raises “reasonable doubt” for defense attorneys who can point to the inability of law enforcement to determine what truly happened.
Overburdens courts – According to the CT Judicial Branch, family violence cases make up 1/3 of the criminal docket. Thousands of these cases include dual arrests, potentially needlessly adding to an already congested court system, impacting its administration and costing more money.
Here is what you can do to help! Email Your Legislators
It is important to email your legislators and urge their support of this bill. It is best not to send bulk emails to legislators but to email them individually. Co-Sponsor – Be sure to ask your legislators to co-sponsor the bill! Having a broad list of co-sponsors helps to demonstrate support for the bill and makes it easier to get the bill called for a vote on the floor. Submit a Letter to the Editor
You can submit a letter to the editor to your local paper. Use Social Media
Here are some sample social media posts that you can use to urge support. Be sure to check and see if your legislators have social media accounts and tag them in the post! Also, please be sure to tag CCADV so that we can share your posts with our followers, which includes several legislators. CCADV social media profiles: Twitter – @CTCADV, Facebook: @CTCoalitionAgainstDomesticViolence. You can also tag Prudence Crandall Center: Twitter: @PCC_CT, Facebook: @prudencecrandallcenter.
Did you know? In CT, about 20% of intimate partner violence incidents result in a dual arrest. That’s more than twice the national average of 7%. It’s time for a change! CT should adopt a dominant aggressor law. #PassSB466 #Change #DualArrestCT @Rep/Sen____ @CTCADV @PCC_CT
Victims who are arrested in a dual arrest are less likely to call the police for help in the future greatly diminishing their safety. It’s time for a change! CT should adopt a dominant aggressor law. #PassSB466 #Change #DualArrestCT @Rep/Sen____ @CTCADV @PCC_CT
Children who witness both parents being arrested suffer additional trauma and may develop a distrust of the criminal justice system. It’s time for a change! CT should adopt a dominant aggressor law. #PassSB466 #Change #DualArrestCT @Rep/Sen____ @CTCADV @PCC_CT