When an abusive partner has access to firearms, statistics show that domestic violence is more likely to turn deadly. According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, the presence of a gun in domestic violence situations increases the risk of homicide for women by 500 percent. More than half of women murdered with guns are killed by family members or intimate partners.*
In 2013, the Hotline and its project for teens and young adults, loveisrespect, received a total of 331,078 contacts. 94.5% of those who identified themselves as victims or survivors were female, 5.5% were male. Our services are available to all regardless of gender, race, religion, socio-economic levels or relationship status; however, because the overwhelming majority of victims who reach out to the Hotline are women, we are actively collaborating with several national organizations which are focusing resources on protecting women from gun violence. Our president, Katie Ray-Jones, contributed to a CNN op-ed with former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords that addresses this issue. Read the full op-ed here: Guns killing women: Time for Congress to act.
* J.C. Campbell, D.W. Webster, J. Koziol-McLain, et al., “Risk factors for femicide within physically abusive intimate relationships: results from a multi-site case control study,” 93 Amer. J. of Public Health 1089-1097 (2003).
- Women in the U.S. are 11x more likely to be murdered with guns than women in other high-income countries**
- Female intimate partners are more likely to be murdered with a firearm than all other means combined***
- The presence of a gun in domestic violence situations increases the risk of homicide for women by 500%****
- In states that require a background check for every handgun sale, 38% fewer women are shot to death by intimate partners*****
** D. Hemenway and E.G. Richardson, “Homicide, Suicide, and Unintentional Firearm Fatality: Comparing the United States with Other High-Income Countries, 2003,” 70 Journal of Trauma 238-42 (2011), available at doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3181dbaddf.
*** When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2010 Homicide Data: Females Murdered by Males in Single Victim/Single Offender Incidents. 2012. Violence Policy Center. Washington, DC. Retrieved January 17, 2013. http://www.vpc.org/studies/wmmw2012.pdf.
**** J.C. Campbell, D.W. Webster, J. Koziol-McLain, et al., “Risk factors for femicide within physically abusive intimate relationships: results from a multi-site case control study,” 93 Amer. J. of Public Health 1089-1097 (2003).
***** U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Supplementary Homicide Reports, 2010, available at http://bit.ly/V1GvFe (excludes New York due to incomplete data).
In light of these disturbing statistics, Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), the gun violence prevention organization founded by Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired combat veteran and NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline have announced a new report and toolkit, Saving Women’s Lives, to serve as a resource for state and local leaders to adopt best practices that will help protect domestic violence victims from gun violence.