As the national spotlight has turned to gun violence in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. massacre, in Congress, there has been some discussion of how gun reform can help domestically abused women. Last week, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) — chief sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act, expected to be reconsidered this week — made the connection between gun violence and domestic violence. Leahy testified in a hearing that in states that require background checks for handgun sales, 38 percent fewer women are shot by their partners.
Yet others have argued that more firearm regulations would make it harder for women to protect themselves — that guns make women more safe, not less.
The evidence paints a much different picture.
According to 2010 FBI data, firearms — and specifically handguns — are the most common weapons used to murder women. In the U.S., 64 percent of women who are murdered each year die at the hands of a family member or intimate partner. In situations involving domestic violence, having a gun in the home makes a woman eight times more likely to be killed.
Excerpted from the Huffington Post. Read the full article here.