Camillo a proven supporter of domestic violence victims (op-ed)

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Fred Camillo is a leader with a long track record of actively listening to the people he represents, and then working in a non-partisan way to deliver results. This is of paramount importance, especially given the era of divisive politics in which we now find ourselves.

His persistent efforts to help protect women seeking relief from domestic violence yielded the passing of Senate Bill 466 last year which ended the scourge of dual arrest and replaced it with a primary aggressor standard for law enforcement. Fred worked hard on this because he listens and because he cares. How do I know this? Because I have personally seen him take an interest in the details of victim’s cases so that he can better understand how to address making changes in an effective way. Where others are apathetic, Fred is thoughtfully encouraging and will connect people who share common goals and promote ways for them to work together, regardless of their political value to him. These are the qualities that we know we can expect from Fred if we are fortunate enough to have him as first selectman.

At its core, addressing family violence is addressing issues of equality, human dignity, fairness, and moral decency. These values go across party lines, although both parties contend to claim them. What matters to our community is choosing a leader who will actually uphold these constructive values and hence ensure and improve our quality of life for all who reside here. The office of first selectperson is likewise the office of the police commissioner and tasked with addressing the complexities of domestic violence in our community directly through oversight of and interfacing with the police department. From speaking with him about many cases and knowing that he is regularly in touch with administrators of local agencies that help victims in our community, it is clear to me that Fred actively seeks out how to better understand addressing these issues.

Mr. Camillo makes the opportunities to listen and has expressed deep compassion for aggrieved victims of family violence in his advocacy as a legislator and his supportive actions locally. He has for years proposed measures to improve victim reporting, with thoughtful solutions that address issues of stigma and safety concerns. Fred has shown countless individuals the willingness and patience to hear from them, and to help them, and his accessibility and outreach is a functional asset that he brings with him to town hall.

Our organization owes its genesis to Fred, who had the gracious insight to make introductions and unite us in our common goal of improving outcomes for domestic violence victims and their children. Our group of stakeholders includes women across the political spectrum, and Fred not only understood this when he put us in contact, but additionally offered to help with advocacy efforts across party lines in the future.

He has made it clear through his actions that his energy is spent on the goal, not the political gain, and that truly, he operates above the divisiveness of party politics with a deeply held personal conviction to better his community, by identifying what he calls the “unmet needs” and finding solutions within available resources both public and private to meet them.

Mr. Camillo has been a remarkable leader in representing and protecting women as a state legislator, he is familiar with the issues that need to be addressed from his years of listening to and supporting domestic violence victims, and will be an unparalleled leader as first selectman in his sensitivity to issues of equality, his alignment with the value of upholding moral decency, and his ability to comprehensively gather information in a fair and impartial way toward his ultimate and completely apolitical goal of making our community an even better home for us all. From the grassroots level to the statehouse, we have seen him do just this.

Cleo Miller is a member of CT Protective Moms.


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