Episode 4 The
problem
with
Guns

Domestic violence affects one out of every four women in this country. It is deadly not only for those who are abused but also for law enforcement called to intervene — and that’s thanks mostly to guns. If we took guns away from people who have a history of domestic violence, we could make a big dent in gun deaths.

So why haven’t we done it? Scroll down to dive in.

Domestic violence hurts everyone

In the U.S., a woman is shot dead by an intimate partner every 14 hours. But if that's not concerning enough to you, let us assure you that DV offenders are dangerous to everyone, not just their partners. Research has found that a felony domestic violence conviction is the single greatest predictor of future violent crime among men. According to a Bloomberg analysis, "Between 2014 and 2019, almost 60% of shooting incidents with four or more casualties involved an aggressor with a history of—or in the act of—domestic violence."

So it's not enough to just talk about guns. Whether you realize it or not, DV is happening all around you. Yet it's a problem that so few people talk about because of the shame that often surrounds it. It's a hard crime for the victims to report, it's difficult for law enforcement to intervene effectively, and it can be all but impossible to leave an abusive relationship.

We can start by de-stigmatizing DV and talking more openly about this epidemic of violence. We also need to work within our communities to make it easier for people experiencing DV to get support, both social and legal, that can help them safely leave abusive relationships.

And, as April Ross said on our panel, it's crucial that people in law enforcement get trained on what DV actually looks like. It isn't always cuts and bruises. Training police to respond more effectively to DV calls would not only protect more victims but could get more potentially dangerous abusers into the court systems before they have the chance to go on a killing spree.