New Connecticut domestic-violence laws rolling out this month and in October – born of a string of assaults and murders and the media attention that followed – represent the most concentrated attack on these crimes in 24 years, say prosecutors and advocates, reports the Hartford Courant. Nancy Tyler appreciates the reach of the laws, which touch the police, the courts, landlords, emergency shelters, schools, protective-order violators, and victims.
A mother and a lawyer in Hartford, Tyler was a victim of one of the highly publicized crimes since early 2009 that marshaled the attention of the media and politicians in a sustained way not seen since Tracey Thurman, victimized by a brutal husband and some apathetic police officers, sued the state and won landmark reforms in 1986. A new monitoring program for offenders that starts Oct. 1 – a GPS system that tracks protective-order violators and alerts the victim when the offender comes within a certain distance – might have prevented the crime that has changed Tyler’s life. Tyler’s estranged husband, Richard Shenkman, was charged with kidnapping her at her workplace downtown, assaulting her, handcuffing her in her home, pressing a pistol to her head and later burning down the house. Tyler, cuffed at one point to a hook in the basement wall, yanked herself free and escaped before the fire.