Valley Legislature Hosts Virtual Forum On Domestic Violence

ANSONIA – A local lawmaker will host a virtual forum on domestic violence on Tuesday following the third murder of a partner in the city in the past two years.

The State Representative Kara Rochelle, D-Ansonia, Derby, will moderate the forum November 30th at 3 p.m. about zoom. Participants can register at

Rochelle is led by Ansonia Police Lt. Patrick Lynch accompanies; Meghan Scanlon, President and CEO of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Cindy Carlson, program manager at the Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence, BHCare; and Geralyn O’Neil-Wild, board member of TEAM, Inc ..

“Attendees will learn more about the warning signs of domestic violence, the power and control dynamics involved, and the community resources available to those exposed to domestic violence,” said a prepared statement from the Rochelle office. “These include, among other things, legal rights, transitional services and advisory services.”

Panelists will also provide an overview of a new 2021 law that will add coercive control to Connecticut’s definition of domestic violence.

“Domestic violence can affect anyone, regardless of their background, and the warning signs aren’t always obvious,” Rochelle said. “The behavior pattern can start out subtle and become more aggressive over time. This forum is designed to help people who experience, or may witness, domestic violence identify the warning signs and know where to get help in our community. Our goal is also to empower people who may be exposed to domestic violence and friends who may want to learn how to support a loved one who is exposed to domestic violence. “

The forum takes place weeks after the death of 34-year-old Grace Zielinska in a house on Root Avenue. Her husband, 28-year-old Kamil Zielinski, has since been held at the Bridgeport Correctional Center in lieu of a $ 1 million bond.

He’s next due to appear in court on December 15th. On November 16, a vigil was held for Zielinska in front of her house.

The murder of Zielinska prompted lawyers for victims of domestic violence to deal with the issue on the spot.

The death was the ninth known Connecticut homicide that year, of which three were witnessed by children.

Rochelle said that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, “domestic violence has become more common as residents are isolated and struggle with unemployment and limited access to essentials”.

“During fiscal 2020, November 2019 through June 2020, the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence reported in June 2020, lodging capacity was 151 percent and spending $ 78,803 on hotels to temporarily house victim survivors,” Rochelle said. “In the same month, outbound calls to ensure existing customers could access the services they need for security increased 97 percent from June 2019.”

Individuals who have questions that they would like to ask the panel privately and confidentially can email them to Rochelle at [email protected]

In the Naugatuck Valley, the Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services can be reached by phone at 203-736-9944, 203-789-8104 or 888-774-2900 or online.

National resources on domestic violence can be reached by phone or SMS at 888-774-2900 or online at

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