Advocacy and Policy Manager for Health and Safety, YWCA USA
Last year, during Week Without Violence I wrote a blog that touched on the issue of guns and domestic violence. In the blog, I wrote:
“While domestic violence discriminates against no one, the lethality risk skyrockets when firearms are present. Perpetrators with access to firearms are five to eight times more likely to kill their partners than those without firearms. And the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide for women by five times. Intimate partner homicides account for nearly half of all women killed each year in the U.S., with three women murdered each day. Of these homicides, more than half are attributed to firearm use. In fact, if you’re a woman in the U.S., you’re more likely to die from a gun than in any other developed nation in the world.”
A full year later, what saddens me is that nothing has changed. Three women are still killed by their partners every day. Guns are still the easily accessible, frighteningly effective weapon of choice for abusers in households across the country. And the United States still lags behind every other developed country in addressing this problem.
As advocates – and as women – we cannot afford to become complacent when we see progress stagnate. We must keep pressing forward. This afternoon YWCA USA will host a Capitol Hill Briefing to delve into this issue and highlight new legislation to ensure that abusers cannot get access to deadly firearms. I want to invite you to join YWCA USA, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Representative Gwen Moore, Representative Donna Edwards, and our colleagues at the Violence Prevention Center and the National Domestic Violence Hotline as we livestream the briefing today starting at 1PM ET. Watch the briefing using Periscope (you must download Periscope in advance) and tweet along with us using #endDVnow.
Together we can stop this terrible trend of gun violence against women.
YWCA’s Week Without Violence is an annual campaign that takes place nationally and communities across the country to end violence in all of its forms and wherever it occurs. As the largest network of domestic service providers in the United States, YWCA is focusing our efforts on ending domestic violence – NOW. Everyday YWCA addresses the root causes and immediate needs associated with domestic violence. As we mark our 20th annual Week Without Violence, we invite you to join us. To learn more visit www.ywca.org/wwv and join the conversation with #EndDVNow.