FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb 23, 2010
Guns and Domestic Violence Are a Lethal Combination, Soler Says, Urging U.S. Supreme Court to Uphold Chicago’s Handgun Ban
Family Violence Prevention Fund President Esta Soler issued the following statement on McDonald v. Chicago:
“The Family Violence Prevention Fund joined with other non-profit public interest groups in an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in McDonald vs. Chicago because guns and domestic violence are a lethal combination that injure or kill women in this country every day.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, on average four women in this country are murdered each day by current or former husbands or boyfriends. Firearms are the most common weapon used in intimate partner homicides. Guns also are frequently used to intimidate and terrorize victims of domestic violence. Research shows that the mere presence of a firearm – or access to one – increases fatality rates in abusive relationships. In fact, the risk of femicide in relationships with domestic violence is six times greater when there is a firearm in the home.
Congress has recognized the threat to victims of domestic and sexual violence and stalking caused by firearms. To try to mitigate that threat, the Violence Against Women Act and the federal Gun Control Act include provisions that prohibit perpetrators who are subject to qualifying protection orders, or who have been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes, from possessing firearms. Those provisions are groundbreaking and life saving, but they are not enough.
We need to strengthen our gun laws and support the efforts of cities like Chicago to protect its citizens, to enhance safety for victims of domestic and sexual violence and children, and to keep lethal weapons out of the hands of batterers. That is why the Family Violence Prevention Fund is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Chicago’s ban on handguns. Women’s lives are at stake in this case. We urge the Court to let America’s cities give victims of domestic and sexual violence the protections they urgently need. Thank you.”
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The Family Violence Prevention Fund works to end violence against women and children around the world, because every person has the right to live free of violence. More information is available at www.endabuse.org.