Intimate Partner Violence

Connecticut Domestic Violence Hotline Numbers (Statewide):  888-774-2900 (English) or 844-831-9200 (Español)

About Us
Goals & Mission
Impact of IPV on Victims
IPV Specialists

Welcome to the Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Homepage.  We hope to share with you information and resources about IPV. 

NOTE:  The new, broader term "Intimate Partner Violence" has replaced  "Domestic Violence."

About Us

Every child and adult in the United States has the right to live in a safe, nurturing home.  Child maltreatment and intimate partner violence (IPV) often occur together and it is important to recognize the signs, screen and assess for IPV and provide a safe intervention response.  The mission of the State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families is to work together with families and communities for the children who are healthy, safe, smart and strong.



IPV Goals & Mission
  • Establish a comprehensive response to IPV that offers meaningful and sustainable assistance to families that is safe, respectful, culturally relevant and responsive to the unique strengths and concerns of the families impacted by IPV.

  • Safety and well-being of children will result with the provision of a full continuum of IPV services offered through a state and local coordinated response. 

  • Increase the internal capacity to respond to families impacted by IPV

  • Train DCF workforce to respond to IPV.

  • Ability to assess and meet the needs of low, moderate and high risk families.


Intimate Partner Violence Specialists

Each Regional DCF office has an assigned Intimate Partner Violence Specialist (IPVS).As members of the Regional Resource Group, the role of the IPVS is to provide consultation, support, leadership and coordination to improve outcomes for children and families impacted by domestic violence.  The Specialist will utilize a family, strength based approach that integrates non-clinical and clinical approaches to support child protection practice and service provision and coordination.  This approach focuses heavily on supporting frontline workers with specific cases and in some instances, includes direct consultation with families.  The Specialist will have the opportunity to offer guidance to social workers especially as it pertains to information and resources that can help the entire family system.  The Specialists will also have the opportunity to promote systems change.  The positions will focus heavily on education and training both within the agency and in the community.



The Impact of Domestic Violence on Victims

As with anyone who has been traumatized, the non-offending parent demonstrate a wide range of effects from intimate partner violence. The offender’s abusive behavior can cause an array of health problems and physical injuries.  Non offenders may require medical attention for immediate injuries, hospitalization for severe assaults, or chronic care for debilitating health problems resulting from the perpetrator’s physical attacks. The direct physical effects of intimate partner violence can range from minor scratches or bruises to fractured bones or sexually transmitted diseases resulting from forced sexual activity and other practices. The indirect physical effects of intimate partner violence can range from recurring headaches or stomachaches to severe health problems due to withheld medical attention or medications.

The impact of intimate partner violence on victims can result in acute and chronic mental health problems. Some victims, however, have histories of psychiatric illnesses that may be exacerbated by the abuse; others may develop psychological problems as a direct result of the abuse. Examples of emotional and behavioral effects of intimate partner violence include many common coping responses to trauma, such as:
  • Emotional withdrawal
  • Denial or being guarded of the abuse
  • Impulsivity or aggressiveness
  • Apprehension or fear
  • Helplessness
  • Anger
  • Anxiety or hypervigilance
  • Disturbance of eating or sleeping patterns
  • Substance abuse
  • Depression
  • Suicide
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Possible Symptoms in Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence: 
  • Sleeplessness, fears of going to sleep, nightmares, dreams of danger
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches or stomachaches
  • Hypervigilance to danger or being hurt
  • Fighting with others, hurting other children or animals
  • Temper tantrums or defiant behavior
  • Withdrawal from people or typical activities
  • Listlessness, depression, low energy
  • Feelings of loneliness and isolation
  • Current or subsequent substance abuse
  • Suicide attempts or engaging in dangerous behavior
  • Poor school performance
  • Difficulties concentrating and paying attention
  • Fears of being separated from the non-abusing parent;
  • Feeling that his or her best is not good enough;
  • Taking on adult or parental responsibilities;
  • Excessive worrying;
  • Bed-wetting or regression to earlier developmental stages;
  • Dissociation;
  • Identifying with or mirroring behaviors of the abuser.
IPV Reports

DCF Response to IPV 2016 (PowerPoint)
Comparison of Report Factors And Demographic Profiles of Children Associated With Abuse/Neglect Reports Accepted During SFY2012 - 2015 With And Without Indicators of Intimate Partner Violence - 2015 With and Without Indicators of Intimate Partner Violence 
Connecticut Laws about Domestic Violence
Connecticut Coalition against Domestic Violence, 2014 Fatality Review report


Connecticut IPV Statistics

  • In Connecticut, there are approximately 20,000 family violence incidents annually resulting in at least one arrest.
  • Seventy three percent (73%) were intimate partner violence incidents.
  • The DCF internal data on families also shows that violence is occurring within homes in Connecticut, as indicated with the following 2014 DCF data.
  • In Calendar years 2014, the Department received 30,566 reports.
  • Of those reports, there were allegations of intimate partner violence in 6,322 reports.
  • In regards to the Intimate Partner Violence reports, sixty-eight percent (68%) were served through the investigation track.
  • Thirty-two percent (32%) through the Family Assessment Response (FAR), DCF’s Differential Response track.
  • Approximately 40% of these families are referred to our community partner agencies with IPV-related concerns. 
  • In 2014, Forty-nine percent (49%) of the IPV reports, had co-occurring IPV and substance use, consistent with studies that indicate a very strong intersection between IPV and substance use.
  • Studies of IPV frequently indicate high rates of alcohol and other drug use by offenders during abuse.  Not only do offenders tend to abuse drugs and alcohol, but IPV also increased the probability that victims will use alcohol and drugs to cope with abuse. Consistently over the last 13 years, the number and percent of accepted reports that include allegations of intimate partner violence from calendar year 2000 through calendar year 2014 remain consistent at approximately 21%.  This reflects only the reports that are received and accepted with allegations of IPV and does not reflect the additional instances of IPV discovered through assessment.
  • In 2014, approximately 48% of reports with an IPV indicator were substantiated.   

United States IPV Statistics: (statistics from The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
  • In the United States, an average of 20 people are physically abused by intimate partners every minute.  This equates to more than 10 million abuse victims annually.
  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been physically abused by an intimate partner.
  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been severely physically abused by an intimate partner.
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked. Stalking causes the target to fear she/he or someone close to her/him will be harmed or killed.
  • The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.
  • Domestic violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
  • Domestic violence is most common among women between the ages of 18-24.
  • 19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.
  • Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior.
  • Only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries.    



IPV Resources

CDC- Center for Disease Control
CCADV - Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Evidence-based Trauma-specific interventions in Connecticut
Infoline: call 2-1-1
Love is Respect Text "loveis" to 22522* or call  1-866-331-9474
The National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7


Meeting the Needs of Families

CDC is the nation's health protection agency, working 24/7 to protect America from health and safety threats, both foreign and domestic.  The CDC website provides data on intimate partner violence, prevention and injury information, strategies to promote healthy teen dating and much more information on intimate partner violence and sexual violence.


Connecticut Coalition against Domestic Violence:  (
CCADV member organizations are Connecticut’s 18 domestic violence service organizations that provide critical support to victims of intimate partner violence. Here are just a few of the services provided by our member agencies:

  • Counseling
  • Support groups
  • Emergency shelter/safe house
  • Court advocacy
  • Safety Planning
  • Lethality Assessment
  • Information & referrals

All services are confidential and free of charge. Services are available to all individuals regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or physical and/or intellectual ability.

Contact the Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline Number 888-774-2900 (English) or 844-831-9200 (Español) to be connected to one of the 18 local centers.  You can also reach your local domestic violence enter by calling Infoline 211.




Loveisrespect is a resource to empower youth to prevent and end dating abuse. It is a project of Break the Cycle and the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Loveisrespect’s mission is to engage, educate and empower young people to prevent and end abusive relationships.


Highly-trained peer advocates offer support, information and advocacy to young people who have questions or concerns about their dating relationships. We also provide information and support to concerned friends and family members, teachers, counselors, service providers and members of law enforcement. Free and confidential phone, live chat and texting services are available 24/7/365.   Text "loveis" to 22522* or call  1-866-331-9474



The National Domestic Violence Hotline: (

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) is the voice of victims and survivors.   The NCADV website offers resources, data and information on intimate partner violence, safety planning,  public policies, raising awareness, and anonymous and confidential support via the 24/7 hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

The VIGOR is a new safety plan for people who have experienced domestic violence.  The VIGOR represents the first major innovation in safety planning in more than 20 years. The VIGOR leads to a personalized, strengths-based safety plan. The VIGOR allows for a detailed assessment of all risks, including concerns about children or other loved ones, financial issues, social issues, and personal values. The VIGOR gives victims the opportunity to also think about their strengths.  The focus on strengths is the part most women say they appreciate the most. Finally, the VIGOR helps women identify and choose options for coping with victimization. 





IPV Services

IPV Fair:  service provides a supportive service array of assessments, interventions and linkages to services to address the needs of families impacted by intimate partner violence.  The service will respond to all family members including both caregivers and the children.     The goal of the service is to establish a comprehensive response to intimate partner violence that offers meaningful and sustainable help to families that is safe, respectful, culturally relevant and responsive to the unique strengths and concerns of the family.  This service provides a supportive service array of assessments, interventions and linkages to services to address the needs of families impacted by intimate partner violence.  The service will respond to both caregivers and the children.  Safety planning will be at the center of the service provision.  The target population is families impacted by intimate partner violence. 


IPV Fair assists with:

  • Strengthening parent/child relationship - including but not limited to: communication, bonding, attachment, insight/ability to respond to child's needs;
  • Providing parent education and skill building - including but not limited to: knowledge of impact of IPV upon their well-being and the well-being of their children, structure and limit setting, supervision, discipline, child development, effective communication, conflict resolution, crisis management, problem-solving;
  • Providing Trauma screening – screen for trauma of parents/children, help parents understand the impact of IPV and trauma, assess impact of trauma on family functioning and parenting, and refer family to trauma-informed services if not accessible through provider agency;
  • Provide services/linkages for the children affected by IPV to adequately address trauma;
  • Resource provision – connect the family with state and community resources and options to improve family functioning and support long term sustainability.
  • and eliminate barriers to success, including providing transportation.


Fathers for Change:  IPV Fair will complete assessment to determine if father is eligible for the Father’s for Change portion of the program.   Goals of the Program:  Fathers for Change is designed to provide fathers with skills to have healthier relationships with their co-parents and children.  The goals are:

  • Reduction in relationship aggression and conflict 
  • Reduction in substance abuse if needed
  • Increased positive communication between parents around shared parenting
  • Increased understanding of child development and the impact of parental aggression on children
  • Improved parent child relationships

Program Description

Fathers and mothers participate separately in a full assessment so the program can be designed to best meet the family’s needs. This is followed by a father-child play interaction assessment.  Treatment 16 Sessions once per week for 60 minutes:

  • Exploring goals and wishes in your role as a father
  • Learning skills to manage emotions and conflict
  • Communication skills with your co-parent
  • Parenting skills


Safe Dates:

Safe Dates is an evidence based, multi-level program designed to reduce dating violence.   Highly engaging and interactive, Safe Dates helps teens recognize the difference between caring, supportive relationships and controlling, manipulative, or abusive dating relationships. Safe Dates can be used in middle and/or high schools with an emphasis on both prevention and intervention. Designated as a Model Program by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In 2006, Safe Dates was selected for the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), and received high ratings on all criteria. 

Safe Dates is a ten-session program that targets attitudes and behaviors associated with dating abuse and violence. Each session is approximately 50 minutes in length. Safe Dates can be flexibly scheduled (e.g., daily or weekly sessions).


Mom’s Empowerment:

The Kids’ Club & Moms Empowerment are two programs designed to coincide with each other and are most effective when both the mother and child participate in the intervention. Kids Club is a preventive intervention program that targets children's knowledge about family violence; their attitudes and beliefs about families and family violence; their emotional adjustment; and their social behavior in the small group. The program is phase-based, such that early sessions are designed to enhance the child’s sense of safety, to develop the therapeutic alliance, and to create a common vocabulary of emotions for making sense of violence experiences. Later sessions address responsibility for violence, managing emotions, family relationship paradigms, and conflict and its resolution. Activities rely on displacement and group lessons are reviewed and repeated, as needed, each week. Moms Empowerment is a parenting program that provides support to mothers by empowering them to discuss the impact of the violence on their child's development; to build parenting competence; to provide a safe place to discuss parenting fears and worries; and to build connections for the mother in the context of a supportive group. In essence, this ten-session intervention is aimed at improving mothers’ repertoire of parenting and disciplinary skills, and enhancing social and emotional adjustment, thereby reducing the children’s behavioral and adjustment difficulties.