NNADV Supports Gun Policies to Help Reduce Domestic Violence
The Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence (NNADV) endorses many of the recommendations outlined by President Obama and Vice President Biden in response to the devastating impact of gun violence. This initiative represents a significant step in making our country a safer place by supporting targeted, effective policies that respond to gun violence.
Nationally, more than three women a day, on average, are killed by an intimate partner, and guns play a large role in the level of lethality. Access to firearms dramatically increases the risk of intimate partner homicide, compared to instances where there are no weapons, and that abusers who possess guns tend to inflict the most severe abuse on their partners. According to a study released by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) on September 19, 2012, Nevada ranked first in the nation in the rate of women killed by men for the third year in a row with a rate of 2.62 per 100,000. This rate was more than double the national average. Nevada has held the top position for five of the last six years.
Snapshot of Nevada, according to the annual VPC report, When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2010 Homicide Data:
In 2010, 35 women were murdered by males in Nevada.
For homicides in which the weapon used could be identified, 45 percent of female victims were shot and killed with guns. Of these, 73 percent were killed with handguns.
For homicides in which the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 91 percent of female victims were murdered by someone they knew, 56 percent were wives, common-law wives, ex-wives, or girlfriends of the offenders.
"The protections and restrictions on guns announced this week will reduce the risks for victims of domestic violence," states Sue Meuschke, executive director of the Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence, "and the President's Plan addresses key safety concerns." "Of particular concern is universal screening. Currently individuals convicted of domestic violence or who have an active Extended Order for Protection against domestic violence are prohibited from possessing firearms – in fact one study shows this restriction to be the second most common reason for denial of handgun purchase applications. Yet many of those individuals have been able to access guns through private sale, on the Internet, or at gun shows, where background checks are not required," Meuschke continues, "and concern also extends to the implementation of these laws. There are limited resources currently available on the local, state and national levels that have hampered the impact of legislation. More must be done to insure effective implementation."
"Reducing domestic violence homicide is the responsibility of all Nevada's communities. As the VPC report points out, women in Nevada are at a higher risk of being victims of homicide perpetrated by people they know and love. Common sense gun laws are a step in the right direction to change this outcome," concludes Meuschke.
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