‘That’s going to save lives.’ Connecticut to receive millions of federal funding to fight domestic violence

Sen. Richard Blumenthal announced Friday that over $500 million in federal funding will be put toward the fight against domestic violence.

Officials say that of the $500 million just approved by Congress for domestic violence centers across the nation, Connecticut is expected to receive at least $3.6 million, some of which will go to help Greenwood's clients.

The funds will be used help police and support groups provide services to victims.

Domestic violence victim Jeanette Herron, of Bridgeport, met Saturday morning with state and local leaders, including Deb Greenwood, the executive director of Bridgeport's Center for family Justice to discuss how Connecticut can best help domestic abuse victims with the additional funding.

Herron says she is lucky to be alive after being hospitalized for weeks following a brutal attack by a close family member.

Herron says anybody who has lived through the nightmare of domestic violence will appreciate the positive impact these federal dollars will have on victims.

“My head was put through a pool table, which is slate, and I had a fractured skull, which lead to me being paralyzed for almost a month and a half,” says Herron.

Herron tells News 12 that while she eventually regained the use of her legs, the abuse continued. 

"I was beaten, I was verbally abused,” she says. “I was locked in my house, I wasn't allowed to have friends."

Herron says her abuser eventually passed away. Now she is speaking out to encourage others to get help.

"Please, come out and speak,” she says. “Do not be afraid. There are many agencies out here that can help."

Those agencies, including the Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport, will soon benefit from half a billion dollars in new federal funding.

"It's very exciting,” says Herron. “That's going to save lives, that's going to save families, it's going to save our kids."

Executive Director Greenwood says more counseling for victims and training for staff, along with legal services and shelter improvements, will dramatically help curb domestic abuse.

"Having a one-stop shop under one roof, having every possible support that we can give to a victim of domestic violence can get in front of a homicide,” she says.

In 2019, there were 13 domestic violence homicides in Connecticut and more than 33,000 calls to the statewide domestic violence hotline.