Washington, D.C., March 25, 2020 – Amid reports of increasing calls to domestic violence hotlines, Brady calls on local law enforcement to be vigilant regarding domestic violence and for all of us to support survivors and advocates during this moment of uncertainty and anxiety.

Brady President Kris Brown shared:

“Right now we face a period of deep uncertainty. These heightened tensions, coupled with increased time in the home from shelter-in-place orders and physical-distancing, has the potential to inflame already too frequent situations of domestic and intimate partner violence.

Sadly, we are already seeing anecdotal reports that this is the case.

During this time, we encourage all individuals in domestic violence situations to, if possible, make use of any and all resources and assistance from local and national groups. If you are in danger, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-7233.

For law enforcement, we urge vigilance during this time, particularly regarding firearms in the home. Gun violence in the United States is a public health crisis and nowhere is this more tragically apparent than in regards to domestic violence. The presence of a gun in a home with a history of domestic violence increases the risk of homicide by 500 percent, and, of women murdered by intimate partners in the United States in 2017, 58 percent were killed with guns. Women who were killed by a spouse, intimate partner, or close relative were 7 times more likely to have lived in homes with guns. In short, guns make situations where domestic violence is present more lethal. During this time of stay-at-home orders, that threat is exacerbated.”

Ruth M. Glenn, President and CEO of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence shared:

"COVID-19 is disrupting the functioning of our society, and it impacts victims and survivors of domestic violence particularly hard. Being required to self-isolate with an abuser to safeguard public health can intensify the abuse. The economic fallout from the virus will disproportionately impact already vulnerable survivors who may be financially and housing insecure, forcing them to endure the tactics of an abuser longer or to return to an abusive relationship if they have found safety. An abuser's access to a firearm exacerbates this already dangerous situation, often leading to escalating abuse, severe injury, and, in far too many cases, murder."

Facts About Guns and Domestic Violence in the United States:

  • About every 16 hours, a woman is shot and killed by a former or current partner;
  • 54 percent of mass shootings are related to domestic or family violence;
  • Women who were killed by a spouse, intimate partner, or close relative were 7 times more likely to have lived in homes with guns;
  • 1 out of every 15 children in the U.S. is exposed to the effects of intimate partner violence yearly; and
  • When there is a gun in a home with a history of domestic violence, there is a 500% higher chance that a woman will be murdered.

The correlation between gun violence and domestic violence extends to the state level. According to the Violence Policy Center, in 2017, among the women who were murdered by intimate partner in:

  • South Carolina, 76 percent were killed with guns.
  • Tennessee, 74 percent were killed with guns.
  • Louisiana, 71 percent were killed with guns.
  • Arizona, 69 percent were killed with guns.
  • Nevada, 67 percent were killed with guns.
  • Georgia, 58 percent were killed with guns.
  • Arkansas, 56 percent were killed with guns.
  • Montana, 50 percent were killed with guns.

Brown concluded:

“While these are difficult times, we cannot turn a blind eye to this very real crisis in our country. Domestic violence can be difficult to address even in normal circumstances. We cannot create more victims of COVID-19 if we don’t tackle this issue head-on.”

If you or someone you know needs help or a safe place, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or go to thehotline.org to chat without having to say a word. The National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE is available to victims and survivors, and can refer you to a local crisis center.

Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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