Gun Violence: The Lethal Impact on Women and Children Experiencng DV, SV and Family Violence

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Gun Violence: The Lethal Impact on Women and Children Experiencng DV, SV and Family Violence

Gun violence isn’t just a statistics game; it’s a matter of life and death, especially for women and children facing Domestic Violence (DV), Sexual Violence (SV), and family violence.

This past February, in United States v. Rahimi, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down three decades of federal law banning abusers subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing guns. The ruling flies in the face of common-sense gun regulations and is devoid of the experiences of victims and their families.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

  • When a male abuser has access to a firearm, the risk that he will choose to shoot and kill a female partner increases by 1,000%.
  • More than two-thirds (68%) of mass shootings in the U.S. between 2014 and 2019 were either domestic violence attacks or perpetrated by someone with a history of domestic violence.
  • More than half of all intimate partner homicides in the United States are committed with firearms, and more than 50 women in the U.S. are shot to death by an intimate partner every month.
  • Nearly one million women in the United States have been shot, or shot at, by an intimate partner. And abusers often choose to use guns to coerce, threaten, and terrorize partners, children, and pets, even without firing a single shot
  • In states that have implemented universal background checks on firearms sales, nearly 40% fewer women are shot and killed annually.
  • While anyone can experience domestic violence, it is often more lethal for women of color, particularly when guns are involved. Black women are twice as likely to be killed by a spouse, and four times more likely to be killed by a dating partner, than white women. Homicide is the leading cause of death in the U.S. among Black women aged 14 to 45 years, and 57% of homicides against Black women are committed with guns. Latina women experience the highest rate of domestic violence-related homicides of any ethnic or racial grouping. Of Latina homicide victims, 61% are killed by intimate partners–and 50% of these killings are committed with guns.

Domestic violence victims and survivors deserve better, and everyone deserves to live safely, without fearing gun violence. We urge the Supreme Court to clarify that Second Amendment rights can be upheld while our nation simultaneously continues to take steps to protect victims of violence at highest risk of homicide.