Recently, there have been multiple incidents of gun violence in communities across the Commonwealth, including a shooting in Roxbury yesterday that claimed the life of a 14-year-old and wounded another teen. Last week, a shooting at the Jeremiah Burke High School in Dorchester injured another young person, with a fatal shooting happening just hours before that. In today’s Globe, a parent talked about worrying about the safety of their own youth given all the gun violence. We share that worry.
Additionally, this weekend a couple was found dead in a Kingston home from gunshot wounds. Police reported it as an apparent murder-suicide related to domestic violence. The couple leaves behind a 6-year-old daughter.
As many of you know, I come to the field of gun violence prevention after decades of working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence. In October we mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month and note the ways domestic violence and guns intersect. Every month in the United States, approximately 70 women are shot and killed by a current or former partner. The presence of a gun in the home increases the chances that domestic violence will turn lethal fivefold. The work of addressing domestic violence is also the work of preventing gun violence.
While October is a time to raise awareness about domestic violence, we have also just ended Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, another issue inextricably linked to guns. Over 60% of deaths from guns in the U.S. are firearm suicides. Addressing suicide and domestic violence are essential parts of the work to prevent gun violence, and the Coalition is committed to both as a part of our efforts to reduce the trauma and make our communities safer and healthier.
We remain committed to a comprehensive approach to policy change, sustained investment in community-based solutions, and highlighting research and data to accomplish this. As always, building coalition is key and at the core of what we do. I am grateful to all of you for being a part of our Coalition community.