More women were killed by their husbands or boyfriends since Sept. 11 than "all the Americans who were killed by 9/11 or in Afghanistan and Iraq."— Gloria Steinem October 1st, 2014
In a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) news release on Monday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch discussed federal efforts being made to help end violence against women and improve the safety of victims. In a written memorandum to the United States Attorney’s Offices (USAOs), Lynch sites the USAO’s efforts to help end the “scourge of violence against women in our society.” Since the signing of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994, and its subsequent amendments, the DOJ has made violence against women a priority and commends USAOs for prosecuting cases involving:
- Interstate domestic violence
- Interstate violations of protection order
- Interstate stalking and cyber-stalking
- Firearm possession of person subject to a protection order
- Firearm possession of a person convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
Some of the ways USAOs are working with communities on local, state, and federal levels is through: (abbreviated)
- sponsoring or co-sponsoring training for law enforcement and domestic violence resources
- working with tribal communities to allow tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-Indian offenders
- conducting domestic violence forums to discuss ways to prevent violence and provide services to assist victims
At the end of the memorandum, Attorney General Lynch writes:
These collective effort have improved the lives of domestic violence victims and made our communities safer. I commend you for your impressive work and encourage you to build on your partnerships with state local and tribal law enforcement and community groups to stop domestic violence.
Given the recent Obama Administration efforts to end gun violence, Lynch remarks:
In particular, I ask that you redouble your efforts to work with these partners to prevent prohibited persons from obtaining firearms.
According to federal law and bill 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9):
"anyone who attempts or threatens violence against a loved one has demonstrated that he or she poses an unacceptable risk, and should be prohibited from possessing firearms."
Numerous studies, including one by Oxford Journals, state persons with guns in the home were at greater risk, than those without guns in the home, of dying from a homicide. The National Domestic Violence Hotline states:
- Women in the U.S. are 11x more likely to be murdered with guns than women in other high-income countries**
- Female intimate partners are more likely to be murdered with a firearm than all other means combined***
- The presence of a gun in domestic violence situations increases the risk of homicide for women by 500%****
- In states that require a background check for every handgun sale, 38% fewer women are shot to death by intimate partners*****
If you are a victim, or know someone experiencing abuse/domestic violence, there is free and confidential help available. Visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline website at TheHotline.org or call 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). The organization also offers live chats. If there is immediate danger, first call 911. And remember, you are not alone and it’s not your fault.
Many thanks to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the DOJ, the USAOs and the many organizations who continue their efforts to to end violence against women.
For an extensive study with facts and statistics about domestic violence visit: The National Institute for Justice