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Moms Demand Action Launches October Domestic Gun Violence Awareness Campaign

October 1, 2013

Grassroots Movement Partners with Violence Policy Center to Release Gun-Related Domestic Violence Report; Study Finds Nine American Women Shot to Death Each Week by Husband or Intimate Partner

Domestic Violence 9Women-1_Meme-noURLIn honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today launched a domestic gun violence awareness campaign to push for stronger policies surrounding domestic violence and gun ownership. The campaign includes state-specific press events on Oct. 19, a week of action including in-district meetings with key members of Congress, an email and phone outreach program, and a social media project.

In addition, Moms Demand Action is partnering with the Violence Policy Center (VPC) to promote its report, When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2011 Homicide Data, released Sept. 25, 2013, which lists the top 10 states with the highest rates of females murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents in 2011. Based on data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s unpublished “Supplementary Homicide Report,” the top 10 states (from one to 10) are: South Carolina, Alaska, Oklahoma, Delaware, Arizona, Tennessee, Idaho, West Virginia, Louisiana and New Mexico.

According to the new report:

  • Firearms—especially handguns—were the most common weapon used by males to murder females in 2011.
  • Of the females killed with a firearm, nearly two-thirds were murdered by male intimates.
  • The number of females shot and killed by their husband or intimate acquaintance (489 victims) was more than five times higher than the total number murdered by male strangers using all weapons combined (92 victims) in single victim/single offender incidents in 2011.

“We are asking Congress to protect women from domestic abusers by immediately enacting common-sense reforms that will help keep guns out of dangerous hands,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “It is far too easy for an abuser or someone with a domestic violence conviction to get his hands on a gun without a background check. We urgently need better policies that protect women and their families from this senseless violence. No American, adult or child, should live in a perpetual state of fear. It’s inhumane.”

“Nine women each week are shot to death by their husband or intimate partner. That’s nearly 500 domestic gun violence deaths each year – more than twice the number of servicewomen killed in military conflicts since the Korean War,” Watts said.

Moms Demand Action is asking for:

  • Members of the House to co-sponsor H.R. 1565, the King/Thompson bill, which would extend background checks to private and online sales of firearms.
  • The Senate to bring the Manchin/Toomey bill back to the Senate floor and pass it. This legislation would also expand the background check system and close loopholes that would help keep guns out of dangerous hands.
  • Both chambers to commit to working on and supporting legislation to protect abused women, like S. 1290, the “Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act of 2013;” H.R. 2648, the “Keeping Guns from High Risk Individuals Act;” H.R. 1914, the “Preventing Victims of Stalking Act of 2013;” and, H.R. 1177, the “Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act.”

“The sad reality is that women are nearly always murdered by someone they know,” said VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “We need new policies in place from local communities to the federal government to protect women from harm.”

As part of the domestic gun violence awareness campaign, Moms Demand Action is encouraging moms to create and decorate a number “9” to represent the nine women who lose their lives each week to domestic gun violence. The “9” will be sent electronically and delivered in-person to members of Congress.

In addition, Moms Demand Action is sponsoring a “Week of Action” beginning Monday, Oct. 14, during which members will have in-district meetings with members of Congress, as well as coordinated days of action, include email, phone and social media campaigns. The week will culminate with press conferences on Saturday, Oct. 19, in Arizona, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas – three of these four states appear on VPC’s top 10 list, with South Carolina ranked at number one.

Moms Demand Action is asking women nationwide to participate in the week of action with the following daily activities:

Monday, Oct. 14: Call your members of Congress and tell them to support expanded background checks and other common-sense legislation. Ask eight friends to call, too, for a total of nine calls.

Tuesday, Oct. 15: Join Our Thunderclap: A thunderclap, is a coordinated message that spreads across social media. Moms who sign up by Tuesday will be part of the thunderclap that launches the following day during our Twitter time window, spreading the message that we demand action to prevent domestic gun violence.

Wednesday, Oct. 16: Tweet from 1 to 3 p.m.: Tweet facts about domestic gun violence. Moms can use our Fast Tweet page to send pre-formatted, customizable tweets to members of Congress.

Thursday, Oct. 17: Email Congress: Tell your legislators to enact common-sense reforms to prevent domestic gun violence. Use our email tool to reach all of your members of Congress in one click.

Friday, Oct. 18: Post Photos of “9” for the Nine: Create a number “9” and post photos of it to Facebook—on your own page, and your Congress members’ pages—and send them to [email protected]. Tweet and Instagram the photos using the hashtags #Savethe9 and #momsdemandaction. Here are instructions for creating the “9.”

Read the full press release

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