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Domestic Violence

Image by Bethany Zwag
 
Domestic violence impacts people of all genders, but much of the data available focuses on women because nearly 80% of those killed by intimate partners are women.(1) One in four women and one in seven men have experienced domestic violence in their lifetimes.(2) Transgender individuals are at a much greater risk of domestic violence than cisgender individuals, as more than half of all transgender and gender non-conforming people have experienced domestic violence.(3) The presence of a gun makes a domestic violence situation particularly dangerous, increasing the risk of homicide by 500%.(4)

While it's estimated that nearly one million women have been shot or shot at by an intimate partner, it is also estimated that more than four times that number of women have been threatened by an abuser with a gun. The use of a gun to threaten or coerce someone is still a form of gun violence that leaves behind lasting trauma. Researchers have found that fear of being threatened with a gun has a significant association with PTSD, stronger even than the association between physical and sexual abuse and PTSD.(5)

Please call (877) 785-2020 to contact SafeLink, a toll-free domestic violence hotline 

 

Nearly 1 million women in the US have been shot or shot at by an intimate partner.(6)

More than 50% of intimate partner homicides are committed with a gun.(6)

Women are 5 times more likely to be murdered by an abusive partner when that person has access to a gun.(7)

did you know?
 

Just like all forms of gun violence, domestic violence does not impact all populations equally, it is subject to racial disparities. These racial disparities exist because of systemic racism that deliberately created political and social structures that put women of color at greater risk of abuse or exploitation. 55% of American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced domestic violence, the highest rate of any ethnic group, and a rate 5 times greater than the rate at which white women experience domestic violence.(8) Black women are 2.5 times more likely to experience domestic violence than White Women, with an estimated 30% of Black women experiencing domestic violence in their lifetime.(9) It’s estimated that between 40-60% of Asian and Pacific Islander women, and 23% of Latinx women experience domestic violence in their lifetimes.(10)


There is a strong link between domestic violence and mass shootings. Researchers have found that between 2014-2019, 59% of all mass shooting incidents were domestic violence related, and in 68% of mass shootings, the shooter either killed at least one partner or family member, or had a history of domestic violence.(11) Strong laws to prevent individuals with a history of domestic abuse from accessing guns are just one aspect of a multifaceted approach that is needed to address this issue.

A path forward to end domestic violence homicides

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Policy changes that prevent abusers from accessing guns are proven to save lives. Learn more about domestic violence in Massachusetts and actions you can take from one of our member organizations and community partners, Jane Doe Inc

  1. Domestic Violence and Firearms. (2020, October 28). Retrieved July 1, 2021, from https://efsgv.org/learn/type-of-gun-violence/domestic-violence-and-firearms/

     https://ncadv.org/STATISTICS

  2. NCADV: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. (n.d.). Retrieved July 1, 2021, from https://ncadv.org/STATISTICS

  3.  Violence Against Trans and Non-Binary People. (2015). Retrieved July 1, 2021, from https://vawnet.org/sc/serving-trans-and-non-binary-survivors-domestic-and-sexual-violence/violence-against-trans-and

  4. Campbell, J. C., Webster, D., Koziol-McLain, J., Block, C., Campbell, D., Curry, M. A., . . . Laughon, K. (2003, July). Risk factors for femicide in abusive relationships: Results from a multisite case control study. Retrieved July 1, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447915/

  5.  Mascia, J. (2018, September 12). No Shots Fired. Retrieved July 1, 2021, from https://www.thetrace.org/2018/09/guns-domestic-violence-coercive-control/

  6. Domestic Violence and Firearms. (2020, October 28). Retrieved July 1, 2021, from https://efsgv.org/learn/type-of-gun-violence/domestic-violence-and-firearms/

  7.  Domestic Violence and Firearms. (2020, October 28). Retrieved July 1, 2021, from https://efsgv.org/learn/type-of-gun-violence/domestic-violence-and-firearms/

  8.  N. (2018, February). Research Policy Update Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women. Retrieved July 1, 2021, from https://www.ncai.org/policy-research-center/research-data/prc-publications/VAWA_Data_Brief__FINAL_2_1_2018.pdf

  9.  Women of Color Network Facts & Stats: Domestic Violence in Communities of color. (2006, June). Retrieved July 1, 2021, from https://www.doj.state.or.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/women_of_color_network_facts_domestic_violence_2006.pdf

  10.  Women of Color Network Facts & Stats: Domestic Violence in Communities of color. (2006, June). Retrieved July 1, 2021, from https://www.doj.state.or.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/women_of_color_network_facts_domestic_violence_2006.pdf

  11.  Geller, L.B., Booty, M. & Crifasi, C.K. The role of domestic violence in fatal mass shootings in the United States, 2014–2019. Inj. Epidemiol. 8, 38 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40621-021-00330-0