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The relationship between guns and domestic violence

| May 3, 2019 | Family Law |

Intimate partner violence is a serious problem in the United States. Statistically, around 2,000 people lose their lives in altercations with a spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend or ex-romantic partner. Over half of those deaths are caused by the same kind of weapon: a firearm.

The connection between firearms and domestic homicide among intimate partners is so strong that just living in a state that has 10% more firearms than another state increases a woman’s chances of dying by gunshot 10.2%. Given that 90% of murdered women are killed by someone they know, that’s an important factor.

However, women often aren’t the only targets of an intimate partner’s violence once a firearm gets involved. While 53% of women are killed with firearms in domestic violence situations, guns are used on 70% of so-called “collateral” victims. Those are the children, friends, sisters, brothers, parents and grandparents of the intended victim who just happen to be in close proximity when the domestic abuser loses control and becomes a murderer.

Domestic violence is not just a private issue — it is a problem for the entire community, and a single incident has the potential to cause tremendous loss to many people. That’s why it’s so important for victims of domestic violence to get legal assistance — especially if they know that their abuser has access to firearms.

A protective order related to a charge of domestic violence can limit an abuser’s ability to keep or gain access to firearms — especially during the emotionally-charged days right after an incident or when the victim finally leaves the situation. If you’re a victim of domestic violence, talk to a family law attorney today about obtaining an order of protection.

View the profile of Illinois Family Law Attorney Alex Fawell
DCBA | DuPAGE County Bar Association Member
Lead Counsel Rated Attorney