Support Closing Dangerous Loopholes in Federal Firearms Protections for Victims of Dating Violence and Stalking
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This October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we recognize the intersection between gun violence and domestic violence and call on our leaders in Congress to support meaningful gun safety legislation that will save the lives of women and children and avoid needless tragedies.
One in four American women experiences severe physical violence by an intimate partner, and there is an undeniable connection between gun violence and domestic violence: Women in the U.S. are killed at alarming rates by intimate partners, and firearms play a key role when domestic abuse escalates into murder. The mere presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes a woman 500 percent more likely to be killed.
Women in the United States are 11 times more likely to be murdered with guns than they are in any other developed nation. Nearly one‐third of all women murdered in the U.S. are killed by a current or former intimate partner. Firearms play a special role in increasing lethality rates in domestic violence incidents. More than half of women murdered with guns in the U.S. are killed by intimate partners; in 2010 alone, more women were murdered with firearms than with any other weapon.
Violence against women in this country is directly linked to our weak gun laws. This Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we recommit ourselves to elevating and acting on this issue, working with national leaders while we honor the victims and survivors of domestic violence and their families.
Domestic violence is an epidemic that affects women, children and families in communities across our nation. Current law is limited in how it protects domestic violence survivors – a court has to issue a permanent restraining order before an abuser can be prohibited from buying or owning a firearm. This leaves survivors unprotected when they are most in danger. But in states that have passed laws blocking individuals subject to restraining orders from possessing a gun, overall intimate partner homicides has dropped by 19 percent. It is vital that we close the current loopholes in the federal law to protect millions of women holding temporary restraining orders.
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