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What constitutes family violence under Connecticut law?

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Connecticut's domestic violence laws (also known as family violence laws) are designed to protect women, children and men against violence and threatening behavior. Family violence laws apply to people who:

-- Are related either by blood or marriage-- Are dating or have recently dated-- Have a child together-- Reside or have resided together

Connecticut family violence laws actually apply to more than actions that would be recognized as violent behavior, such as physical assault, sexual assault and strangulation. They also apply to stalking and to threats that are intended to make someone fear for his or her safety. Some family violence crimes are misdemeanors, while others are felonies.

Sexual assault charges can be brought against someone even if the two people involved are married or in a romantic relationship. Sexual assault charges may be brought if one partner is alleged to have forced the other to engage in sexual activity against his or her will or that he or she doesn't want to engage in.

When Connecticut residents have a criminal protective order or civil restraining order taken out against them, it's essential that they comply with the terms of those court orders. Failure to do so can be considered contempt of court or possibly a criminal violation, depending on the circumstances.

Family and romantic relationships can be volatile, and emotions can run high. Sometimes, this leads to actions or behavior that are considered criminal. In some cases, one person makes allegations against another person out of anger or to get revenge. The consequences of a family violence conviction or even a charge can be life-changing. Whatever the situation, it's essential to have experienced legal representation to help protect your rights.

Source: Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, "CT Domestic Violence Laws," accessed Sep. 02, 2015

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