Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

Disarming Domestic Violence: Keeping Our Promise to Survivors

January 2018 bar bulletin

By Judge Anne Levinson (ret.)

American women are killed by intimate partners (husbands, lovers, ex-husbands or ex-lovers) more often than by any other perpetrator.1 Survivors of domestic abuse are five times more likely to be killed if their abuser has access to a firearm. Research also suggests that abusers with access to guns tend to inflict the most severe abuse on their partners.2 Even when the trigger is never pulled, firearms are often used, by intimidation and fear, to maintain coercive control of partners and children.3

Recognizing the risks survivors face when their abusers can access firearms, in the 1990s Congress added persons convicted of...

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