Supreme Court Keeps Guns Away from Domestic Violence Abusers

3/26/14   “Victims of domestic violence and their advocates are breathing easier today, since the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that convicted domestic violence abusers will be prohibited from possessing firearms,” said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), which celebrated today’s significant decision in U.S. vs. Castleman.

     “A contrary decision would have eroded the very heart of the long-standing federal protections that prohibit abusers from possessing firearms,” said Gandy. “Frankly, we were terrified that a decision would re-arm thousands of abusers — the very people who are most likely to murder their intimate partners – which would have been tragic beyond measure. We are delighted that the Court upheld this vital law.”

     NNEDV submitted an amicus curiae brief, with support from Mintz Levin, outlining the importance of upholding this protection through a common-sense interpretation of the law. NNEDV’s brief was referenced by the Court.

     Women in the United States are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than women in other high-income countries. Even more telling, women in the US are murdered by their husbands and intimate partners with guns at a rate three times higher than women are murdered by strangers using any combination of guns, knives or other weapons. Another study shows that homes with guns have a 3-fold increase in homicide risk as compared to homes without guns, and this risk increases to 8-fold when the perpetrator is an intimate partner or relative of the victim.

     “Firearms in the hands of abusers play a large role in the lethality of domestic assaults,” said Gandy. “When there has been previous domestic violence, as in the Castleman case, the risk of homicide is 20 times higher. With those odds, giving abusers unfettered access to deadly weapons is gambling with women’s lives.”

     Read the full opinion from the Supreme Court here.

Domestic Violence Counts 2013 – A 24-Hour Census of Domestic Violence Shelters and Services

3/6/14   Today, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) released a new research report that found, in a single 24-hour period, more than 66,000 victims of domestic violence received help and support from service organizations in the United States, yet nearly 10,000 more who needed assistance could not be helped due to a lack of adequate resources.  In Indiana, 1,708 victims received services in that 24-hour period, but 128 could not be helped because local programs here in Indiana didn’t have sufficient resources. This data was gathered from 100% of the ICADV domestic violence member programs in Indiana. Click here for the Indiana statistics.

Flawed Research Ignores the Real Question

Research was released Monday that claims that mandatory arrest causes early death in domestic violence victims and particularly African American victims. The research is based on the Milwaukee mandatory arrest study from 1988.  The National Network to End Domestic Violence has issued a news release in response. So far, there is some coverage in the UK. We are expecting some local coverage in Wisconsin and we tend to think national coverage will follow shortly.

Our message is that attributing death to arrest is a flawed conclusion; however, we urge law enforcement and researchers to evaluate the criminal justice systems’ disparate impact on African American victims.

See this link for the researchers’ press release and links to the study. Here are the NNEDV talking points on the 2014 Sherman Study.