A Dangerous Intersection: Guns Make Domestic Violence Even Deadlier

When I was an undergrad, I worked as a freelance blogger for Generation Progress. My beat was gun violence, a subject I didn’t know a lot about prior to my GP work outside of media coverage of 2012 and 2013’s horrific spate of school shootings. But through my weekly articles for GP, I learned about gun violence – and its dangerous intersections with domestic violence.

Photo via Generation Progress.
Photo via Generation Progress.

Almost a year ago, I wrote a piece for Generation Progress about the connection between guns and domestic violence – and how a firearm can make partner violence into homicide. In it, I included a few chilling statistics that, nearly a year later, haven’t changed a bit:

  • 46 women die each month at the hands of an intimate partner with a gun.
  • The presence of a gun makes the likelihood of death in a domestic violence situation 500 percent higher.

In its latest messaging, Generation Progress’ statistics are only more sobering:

  • In 2001-2012, more women were murdered by a partner using a gun than troops were killed in Afghanistan & Iraq.
  • Of the US women killed by intimate partners, 55% on average were killed with guns.
  • US women are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than women in other high income countries.

It is not possible to discuss domestic violence and violence against women without talking about reforming our gun control laws here in the United States. Indeed, it’s women who are living at the intersections of gun violence and relationship violence, and it’s a deadly combination. Domestic violence alone is a huge problem, and in October, advocates will undoubtedly do all they can to bring the issue to the table and spark conversation. But without talking about gun law reform, that conversation is missing a massive component.


Now, Generation Progress is hosting a social media initiative focused on women, domestic abuse, and gun violence, and I’m thrilled that the organization is being so vocal about these intersections. So if these statistics got you as fired up as I am, I urge you to participate in the conversation. You can join the Twitter chat TODAY at 1 p.m. ET.


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