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"From its unique vantage point as the statewide coalition, JDI helps us all connect the dots between policy, practice and services and strengthens our work in the communities we serve." ~ Linda Cavaioli, Executive Director, YWCA of Central Massachusetts

Jane Doe Inc. supports swift and thorough state and federal action on firearm safety & control

For Immediate Release:  January 15, 2013
 

Jane Doe Inc. supports swift and thorough state and federal action on firearm safety & control

 

The current state and national focus on gun policy reform offers an unprecedented opportunity to save the lives of victims of sexual and domestic violence.  The risks associated with gun access are of daily concern to sexual and domestic violence victims.  In Massachusetts between 2003 and 2012, 97 victims of domestic violence homicide were killed with a firearm, representing an average of 37% of all domestic violence homicide victims. Guns are also used to threaten, intimate, and injure victims of both sexual and domestic violence. 

“As a social justice and anti-violence movement, we applaud President Obama, Vice President Biden and Governor Patrick for making gun safety legislation a top priority.  Universal background checks for gun sales, addressing “straw purchasing,” assault weapons bans, and other legal and systems measures are important steps.  For too long, our laws have enabled abusers and put victims at risk” said Mary R. Lauby, Jane Doe Inc. Executive Director.  “These policies cannot solve the problem alone.  A rational and multi-dimensional response must also include a commitment to support survivors, to hold offenders accountable and to prevent violence from occurring in the first place.”

Jane Doe Inc. (JDI) also calls on President Obama to issue a Presidential Executive Order that removes the restrictions on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct research on firearms and violence prevention. Lauby states, “The country’s access to critical research has been held hostage by the NRA and gun lobby long enough.” 

JDI draws from its experience working with survivors and from evidence-based research to advocate for limiting access to firearms, promoting research on violence prevention, and ensuring services, policies and practices that ensure victim safety. 

  • Nationally, guns are used in over half of domestic violence homicides, making firearms more common than all other methods of killing combined.
  • An abused woman's risk of death increases about seven times if her abuser has a gun in the home.  Researcher and national expert Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell identifies access to firearms as a leading risk factor in terms of domestic violence homicide.
  • Current laws designed to keep guns out of the hands of batterers must be upheld and enforced.
  • We agree that the intersection of mental health and firearms needs further exploration and attention and such efforts would be an important complement to the efforts needed to specifically address domestic violence.

Lauby added, “In memory of those whose lives have been lost we ask for nothing less than to ensure that batterers and other abusers do not have access to firearms.  Guns and domestic or sexual violence are a lethal combination.  We urge swift action to change this preventable outcome by removing guns from the equation.”

Jane Doe Inc. is the statewide coalition of domestic violence and sexual assault programs in Massachusetts. Jane Doe Inc. advocates for responsive public policy, promotes collaboration, raises public awareness, and supports our member programs to provide comprehensive prevention and intervention services.  We are guided by the voices of survivors.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Toni Troop at Jane Doe Inc. by phone at 617-212-7571 or email to ttroop@janedoe.org.

 


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