Protecting Our Kids

February 17, 2023
Earlier this week, we were joined by Sofia Veronesi, a brave young woman who shared her story of relationship violence. While some of the details were hard to hear, she shined an important light on Teen Dating Violence Awareness, and how we can make changes as parents, friends, and elected officials to protect our kids from harm. You will find more information on her story and available resources below:

You can click on any of the links above to jump to that section of the email. I hope that you find these resources helpful.

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
Yesterday, Sofia Veronesi shared her harrowing story about how her abuser controlled her through Snapchat by tracking her through the map section in the app. Her bravery and perseverance saved her life, but that sadly is not always a reality. I encourage you to read Sofia's story in the Hartford Courant.

Some startling data shows 26% of high school students in Connecticut have experienced verbally or emotionally abusive relationships, 9% have experienced physical abuse, and 11% have experienced sexual abuse. At the same time, a large majority of parents nationwide are unaware that teen dating violence is an issue.  

It is clear that the most important assistance we can offer at this time is education. We must continue educating parents, guardians, community leaders, and friends on understanding what constitutes dating violence, the warning signs, what a healthy relationship looks like, and what we can do to protect our young people against abuse.

While all teens can experience dating violence, the LGBTQ+ community is at a disproportionately higher risk of experiencing abuse. To access resources for LGBTQ+ relationships specifically, please click here.

Additional Resources

Protecting Our Kids
Last year, I joined a bipartisan group of legislators to spearhead legislation that made a huge stride in protecting our kids from online abuse and exploitation. While the bill - linked above - passed the has with unanimous support, it sadly did not receive a vote in the Senate.

To ensure that our children are protected, I have proposed the bill again this year in the Judiciary Committee, with hopes of getting the bill signed by the Governor before the end of Session.

Like last year, this proposal was submitted in collaboration with Rep. Pat Callahan, of the 108th District, to ensure that the predators who are purposely targeting our children with harmful intent can now be captured under the law with the creation of a new Class A misdemeanor.

Online abuse of children has become more and more common, affecting families and children across all demographics. If your family has been impacted by this or you would like more information on resources you can contact my office, or visit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

For further context, please fell free to watch the video below of my remarks - from last year - on the importance of the bill:

Committee Work
My colleagues and I continue to be hard at work as we progress through the Committee process. This week, the Committee on Children held a public hearing on a number of important topics. Next week, all three of my Committees - Children, Education and Public Health will - will hold public hearings on various topics affecting the state.

To access all upcoming or past public hearing agendas, meeting agendas, and additional committee resources, please click the buttons below.

Please feel free to watch sections - or the entire hearing - in the recording below:

Committee on Children
Education Committee
Public Health Committee
Follow Session
As session continues to progress, please remember, there are a number of ways you can stay up-to-date on our work.

How to Follow Session:

  • Check the Daily Bulletin - The Bulletin provides daily updates on meetings, press conferences, and other legislative events happening
  • Visit the CGA Website - The CGA Website offers an array of resources including the calendar, legislator contacts, and additional Session items
  • Watch on CT-N - Every Session will be live-streamed and recorded on CT-N, so you can tune in online if you aren't able to join us in person
  • Committee YouTube Pages - Each Committee will live-stream all of their public meetings (hearings, task-force, working groups, etc.) through their own YouTube account, which is great backup in case CT-N does not cover a specific meeting - they can be found on the CGA Website
  • Sign-Up for My Updates - You can get updates on any number of legislative and community topics directly from me by signing up for my email list, just click the image below
These are just some of the easiest ways you can stay up-to-date and follow the Session as it progresses. If for any reason you need additional assistance, please always feel free to reach out to me and my team.
TEAM Community Needs Survey
TEAM, Inc. is working on there annual Community Needs Assessment and wants to hear from you!

Residents of Derby, Orange and Woodbridge are asked to take this short survey, which will clarify what resources we need in the community to better provide for residents like you. If you are willing, please click or scan the QR code below to take the survey.