Category Archives: homicide

Firearms and Domestic Violence: A Deadly Combination

From the National Center on Protection Orders Full Faith and Credit Newsletter, March 23, 2017

Firearms and Domestic Violence: A Deadly Combination

Currently, there is a significant amount of discussion in the United States surrounding gun violence. Firearms and domestic violence are a lethal mix. Looking at homicides that occurred in 2011, a recent study showed that nearly two-thirds of women killed with guns were killed by their intimate partners. (Citation: Violence Policy Center, When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2011 Homicide Data 6, (September 2013) at http://www.vpc.org/studies/wmmw2013.pdf . It is clear from this data that removing guns from domestic abusers saves lives.

It is important for all disciplines to understand the federal firearm laws and their relationship to any state laws. The complexity of firearm legislation and case law make it difficult and confusing to determine what laws apply and to whom. Federal law prohibits abusers who have been convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence and persons subject to certain protection orders from purchasing or possessing guns and ammunition. Some states have enacted legislation that mirrors the federal firearm prohibitions. Other jurisdictions have adopted broader laws to address issues that the federal law does not address such as including dating relationships and stalking crimes. To assist practitioners, NCPOFFC has compiled a matrix of domestic violence-related firearm prohibitions.

All disciplines that deal with intimate partner violence have a unique responsibility to address the presence and use of weapons to ensure survivor safety. NCPOFFC has created firearms checklists so practitioners can be better prepared to deal with weapons possession. Please click the following link to access the appropriate firearms checklist:

Law enforcement checklist:
This checklist for law enforcement provides information on two classes of persons prohibited under the domestic violence related provisions of the federal Gun Control Act. Those subject to a protection order (18 USC 922 (g)(8)) and those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (MCDV) (18 USC 922 (g)(9)) are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms. This document also provides tips on seizure and safe return of firearms as well as responding to information requests and incidents of officer-involved domestic violence. It is important for all disciplines to understand the federal firearm laws and their relationship to any state laws

Judges’ checklist:
This checklist for judges provides key information on the federal Gun Control Act provisions prohibiting purchase or possession of firearms by those subject to a protection order (18 USC 922 (g)(8)) or those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (MCDV) (18 USC 922 (g)(9)). Detailed information on who is prohibited, as well as surrender, transfer, and return of firearms, and requirements of judicial notification are provided.

Advocates’ checklist:
This checklist provides information for advocates facilitating a discussion with survivors about firearms. It also provides key information on the federal Gun Control Act provisions prohibiting the purchase or possession of firearms by those subject to a protection order (18 USC 922 (g)(8)) or those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (MCDV) (18 USC 922 (g)(9)).

Prosecutors’ checklist:
This checklist for prosecutors provides key information on the federal Gun Control Act prohibiting those subject to a protection order (18 USC 922 (g)(8)) or those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (MCDV) (18 USC 922 (g)(9)) from possessing a firearm or ammunition. This tool provides tips from charging decisions to documenting the conviction, as well as facilitating a community response to aid in convicting dangerous abusers.

NCPOFFC staff is available to assist practitioners in understanding both federal and state domestic violence related firearm prohibitions. Please contact NCPOFFC at 800-903-0111 prompt 2, or visit the website to access matrices of state firearm laws, case law, promising practices, and to request technical assistance or training on this issue.

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12 Facts That Show How Guns Make Domestic Violence Even Deadlier

A statistical guide to firearms, intimate partner abuse, and the children, parents, and police who become victims, too.

by Kerry Shaw August 22, 2016

The complete article with graphics

This is not just another “guns and domestic violence” article – it is full of statistical information that makes it crystal clear how guns make domestic violence lethal to intimate partners, children, family members, friends, law enforcement, and even bystanders. Please read. – S.H.A.R.E., Inc.

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More than 1,600 Women Murdered by Men in One Year, New Study Finds

Study ranks the states on the rate of women murdered by men in advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October

Washington, DC — More than 1,600 women were murdered by men in 2013 and the most common weapon used was a gun, according to the new Violence Policy Center (VPC) study When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2013 Homicide Data.

This annual VPC report is being released in advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. This year’s study applies to 2013, the most recent year for which data is available.

The study also ranks the states on the rate of women murdered by men. In 2013, South Carolina had the highest rate, followed by Alaska, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Nevada. (A list of the 10 states with the highest rates of women murdered by men follows below.)

The study covers homicides involving one female murder victim and one male offender, and uses data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Supplementary Homicide Report.

Nationwide, 1,615 females were murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents in 2013, at a rate of 1.09 per 100,000. The study found that nationwide, 94 percent of women killed by men were murdered by someone they knew. Of the victims who knew their offenders, 62 percent were wives or other intimate acquaintances of their killers.

The study also found that black women are disproportionately impacted by fatal domestic violence. In 2013, black females were murdered by men at a rate of 2.36 per 100,000, two and a half times higher than the rate of 0.95 per 100,000 for white women murdered by men.

Nationwide in 2013, out of the 1,615 female homicide victims, 1,086 were white, 453 were black, 36 were Asian or Pacific Islander, 21 were American Indian or Alaskan Native, and in 19 cases the race of the victim was not identified.

“Women are dying every day as a result of domestic violence, and our state and federal laws are insufficient in the face of this crisis,” states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “State and federal policymakers should take immediate action to help protect women from abusers and prevent future tragedies. This should include ensuring that men with a history of domestic abuse do not have access to guns.”

“When men murder women, the most common weapon used is a gun,” says Julia Wyman, executive director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence. “Closing gaps in state and federal gun laws will save women’s lives.”

The Violence Policy Center has published When Men Murder Women annually for 18 years. During that period, nationwide the rate of women murdered by men in single victim/single offender incidents has dropped 31 percent — from 1.57 per 100,000 in 1996 to 1.09 per 100,000 in 2013.

Below is the complete list of the 10 states with the highest rate of females murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents in 2013:

study (Click to enlarge)

For each of the top 10 states, the study offers a detailed summary including: the number of victims by age group and race; the most common weapons used; the victim to offender relationships; and the circumstances of the homicides.

For homicides in which the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 94 percent of female victims nationwide were murdered by a male they knew. Of the victims who knew their offenders, 62 percent were wives, common-law wives, ex-wives, or girlfriends of the offenders.

Firearms — especially handguns — were the weapons most commonly used by males to murder females in 2013. Nationwide, for homicides in which the weapon used could be identified, 53 percent of female victims were shot and killed with a gun. Of the homicides committed with guns, 69 percent were killed with handguns.

The Complete Study (PDF)

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NCADV Responds to Violence Policy Center Study: When Men Murder Women – An Analysis of 2013 Homicide Data

“Nationwide, 1,615 females were murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents in 2013, at a rate of 1.09 per 100,000. The study found that nationwide, 94 percent of women killed by men were murdered by someone they knew.”

Denver/Washington D.C. September 16, 2015- The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) responds to the report, When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2013 Homicide Data released by The Violence Policy Center September 15, 2015.

Executive Director of the NCADV, Ruth M. Glenn stated today in response to the VPC study, “Though no surprise, it is still overwhelmingly disappointing to learn that in 2013 over 1600 women lost their lives to murder. More astounding is this fact from the report: “Nationwide, 1,615 females were murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents in 2013, at a rate of 1.09 per 100,000. The study found that nationwide, 94 percent of women killed by men were murdered by someone they knew.”

She continued, “Once again, we are faced with the evidence, that this nation still does not do enough to protect women. The study further reveals and supports the need to address the intersection between gun violence and domestic violence. We must do something – now – as a nation – to ensure we do everything we can to remove guns from those who have committed domestic violence and close the loopholes that allow those that might do further harm to domestic violence victims.”

According to VPC, “Women are dying every day as a result of domestic violence, and our state and federal laws are insufficient in the face of this crisis,” states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “State and federal policymakers should take immediate action to help protect women from abusers and prevent future tragedies. This should include ensuring that men with a history of domestic abuse do not have access to guns.”
States United stresses, “When men murder women, the most common weapon used is a gun,” says Julia Wyman, executive director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence. “Closing gaps in state and federal gun laws will save women’s lives.”

NCADV stands with VPC and States United and will continue to support and address this crisis, through effecting policy, supporting victims, and ensuring that there is zero tolerance for domestic violence. It is unacceptable for one more life to be lost as a result of the deadly mix of guns and domestic violence.

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Advocates Warn of New Dangers as Sheriff Urges Domestic Violence Victims to Arm Themselves

A brutal murder in a small Louisiana town reignites debate about women, guns, and self-defense. Here’s the story the data tells.

By Jennifer Mascia
On the night of August 9, police responded to a domestic dispute at a home in the small Louisiana town of Geismar. In the backyard, they found the bludgeoned body of Monica Johnson. The 45-year-old held an active restraining order against her estranged husband, who police arrested the next morning and charged with murdering his wife with a baseball bat.

As the community processed the horrific crime, local law enforcement and pro-gun establishments offered a simple response: arm domestic violence victims to prevent more deaths. Appearing on a CBS affiliate two days after the murder, Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley urged women to get concealed-weapons permits.

“When you’re in a situation like this, shoot him in your backyard before he gets in your house,” Wiley said. “Drop him. Take the extremes necessary to live a life where you don’t have to worry about your kids and your life.”

Twenty-two miles north in Baton Rouge, Wade Duty, the owner of Precision Firearms in Baton Rouge, called the sheriff’s comments “motivational” and announced that he was offering free concealed-carry training to women with restraining orders against abusers. “If you find yourself in this situation, you need to have some options,” said Duty, an attorney and NRA-trained instructor. Wiley and Duty did not respond to a request for comment.

But now some local domestic violence prevention advocates are pushing back, arguing that adding a firearm can add new risks to an already volatile situation.

“I don’t think we’re ever going to eliminate domestic violence homicide, and we’re never going to be able to eliminate the need for women to defend themselves,” Beth Meeks, executive director of Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, tells The Trace. “But there’s an overwhelming pile of evidence that says that a woman who wields a gun against her abuser is much more likely to have her own weapon used against her.”

Christy Salters Martin is one of the more high-profile examples of what can go wrong: The professional boxer and licensed concealed carrier armed herself against her husband during a violent 2010 altercation at their home in Florida. Martin’s husband, also a concealed carrier, grabbed Martin’s pink Glock and shot her with it. Overall, the presence of a gun in domestic violence situations increases the risk of homicide five-fold, according to a 2003 study. An analysis of 2010 homicide data by the Violence Policy Center found that women in relationships are more likely to be murdered with a firearm than all other means combined.

Another survey, which gathered responses from more than 400 women in California battered women’s shelters in 2004, found that only 1.4 percent of domestic abuse victims had used a long gun in self defense against their abuser, and only 3.1 percent had used a handgun in self defense.

Meeks also warns that when women do use firearms to successfully defend themselves in domestic incidents, there can be unforeseen consequences. It’s what she calls the “Marissa Alexander situation.” Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison after firing what she argued was a warning shot to scare her abusive husband at their Florida home in 2012. She was released on house arrest after overturning the conviction on appeal, but had already served three years behind bars.

That same year, Tammy Romero was charged with second-degree murder after fatally shooting her live-in boyfriend after years of dysfunction and abuse. The Louisiana woman pled guilty to negligent homicide and filed a federal lawsuit against local police, arguing that officers actually caused Wirtz’s death because they did not do enough to protect her from him.

“None of these things are predictable,” Meeks says. “We could run what-if scenarios all day. But we need to be responsible about the information we give these women.”

Full story

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Men Kill Women in the U.S. So Often That It’s Usually Not Even Newsworthy

When news emerged that a middle-aged white man in Lafayette, Louisiana, opened fire at a showing of the Amy Schumer vehicle Trainwreck, I immediately had this sinking feeling that the movie choice wasn’t a coincidence—that this was, like the Elliot Rodger and George Sodini killings, an act of rage at women. While Trainwreck is a fluffy rom-com, it’s also a popular topic of chatter in the feminist-sphere and therefore likely to be noticed by the seething misogynists who monitor the online activities of feminists with unsettling obsessiveness.

That fear is now moving from the uneasy-feeling column to the likely possibility column, with Dave Weigel of the Washington Post reporting that alleged shooter John Russell Houser was a rabid right-winger—he even went to one of those unranked conservative Christian law schools—who had particularly strong anger toward women for their growing independence and rights. Former talk show host Calvin Floyd had Houser on as a frequent guest, knowing that his off-the-wall opinions would generate audience interest: “The best I can recall, Rusty had an issue with feminine rights,” Floyd said. “He was opposed to women having a say in anything.” Houser also had a history of domestic violence.

It would be nice, as Jessica Winter argued in Slate after the Charleston shooting, if this country could have a grown-up conversation about gun control in the wake of crimes like this. Instead, we’re just going to hear a bunch of ridiculous rhetoric about how more guns will fix this problem, as if Lafayette isn’t one of those parts of the country where everyone and his poodle is packing heat. But since that’s not happening, maybe we can talk about the continuing role that misogyny plays in the relentless drumbeat of gun violence in this country.

Complete article

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Common characteristics of domestic violence murder-suicide and recent cases

The cases listed below are just a few of the domestic violence related cases which ended in murder-suicide reported in the news within the last month. In the U.S. more than three women a day are killed by their intimate partners.

The most common characteristics of murder-suicide in families are a prior history of domestic violence, access to guns, increased specific threats and a prior history of poor mental health or substance abuse, according to the National Institute of Justice.

According to statistics gathered by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder suicides are female.

Veteran Suspected in Murder-Suicide had a history of domestic violence

Two dead after domestic dispute in Northside

Deaths of Boothbay Harbor family ruled double murder – homicide

A domestic violence incident in May turns into a murder-suicide in June

Shooting suspect in murder-suicide has lengthy history of domestic violence

Argument, break-up threats preceded double murder-suicide

Police identify woman, man in suspected murder-suicide

ID released in Sterling Heights murder-suicide: husband was arrested in May for domestic violence

Sheriff IDs victims in murder-suicide

Patterns and risk factors are discussed in a paper The Dynamics of Murder-Suicide in Domestic Situations (pdf)

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