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Everytown, Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Statements as Domestic Violence Awareness Month Begins

October 1, 2021

NEW YORK — Everytown and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements to mark the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence and gun violence are inextricably linked, impacting millions of families and communities across the country. 

Gun-related domestic violence is a deadly crisis facing women and families in the U.S. due to weak gun laws that make it easy for domestic abusers to access guns. Guns exacerbate the power and control dynamic used by domestic abusers to inflict emotional abuse and exert coercive control over their victims — which is only worsened by conditions created by the coronavirus pandemic. Today, people are still isolated, anxious, and struggling financially due to COVID-19, and the risk of domestic violence is still elevated. Access to firearms makes domestic abusers five times more likely to kill their female victims

“Every day, women and families are bearing the fatal cost of domestic violence in our country, and access to a gun makes intimate partner violence situations increasingly deadly,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We know that domestic violence and gun violence are deeply connected. This Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we stand alongside survivors in calling on lawmakers to take action on common-sense methods to protect victims and survivors of domestic violence. ”

“Domestic violence is more than just one instance,” said Alex Van Dyke, an Everytown Survivor Fellow, volunteer with Moms Demand Action in Kansas, and a gun violence survivor whose step-brother shot and killed his partner in 2019. “The ripple effect of domestic violence and gun violence is insurmountable. That’s why it is so important to lift the survivors and victims of this public health crisis this month — and every month.” 

“This Domestic Violence Awareness Month, thoughts and prayers must be replaced with change and action,” said Celeste Iroha, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Maryland and a gun violence and domestic violence survivor. “Domestic violence can impact anyone at any time. There is no question that there’s something we all can do to support survivors, protect victims, and encourage leaders to enact protections against domestic violence so that no one else has to experience what I have.”

Every month, 57 women in the U.S. are shot and killed by intimate partners and nearly 1 million women alive today have been shot or shot at by an intimate partner. Also, over 4.5 million women reported being threatened with a gun by an intimate partner. 

We recognize the impact of higher rates of intimate partner violence and gun homicide on women of color. As we mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it’s time for the Senate to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which polling shows 90% of people in the U.S. support.

This October, Everytown for Gun Safety is honoring survivors and advocating for proven solutions to prevent domestic violence including keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, closing the Charleston loophole, and increasing access to services and trained advocates. 

More information on gun-related domestic violence is available here. To speak with a policy expert, Moms Demand Action and/or Students Demand Action volunteer, please do not hesitate to reach out. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, available 24/7, for confidential assistance from a trained advocate. If you’re unable to speak safely via phone, you can chat online at

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