In the first few weeks of 2023, communities across the country have been horrified by multiple incidents of domestic and familicide shootings. Some of these incidents include:
- In Enoch City, Utah on January 3, a man reportedly fatally shot seven members of his family before shooting and killing himself two weeks after his wife filed for divorce. The five children shot and killed include three girls, ages 17, 12 and seven, and two boys, ages seven and four. Reports show the mass shooter had been investigated two years prior for child abuse, but police and prosecutors decided not to criminally charge him. The mass shooter’s obituary – a glowing tribute that made no mention of his victims or the circumstances of the shooting – was taken down following public outrage.
- In High Point, North Carolina on January 7, a father reportedly shot and killed his wife and three children, ages 10, 16, and 18, before shooting and killing himself.
- In Lee Township, Michigan on January 7, a Michigan mother and her two young daughters were reportedly shot and killed by the mother’s long-term partner allegedly in response to her trying to leave him.
- In East Hartford, Connecticut on January 11, a reported dispute between a former couple led to a man shooting and seriously wounding his former partner, who has been hospitalized.
Gun-related intimate partner violence is a devastating and lethal crisis facing women and families in the United States. Every month, an average of 70 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner. In addition, intimate partner mass shootings are not uncommon, though many don’t make headlines. An Everytown analysis of mass shooting incidents—in which four or more people are shot and killed, not including the shooter—in the United States from 2009 to 2020 revealed that in at least 53 percent of these shootings, the perpetrator shot a current or former intimate partner or family member.
While federal lawmakers have stepped up and taken meaningful steps recently toward addressing domestic violence involving a firearm, including reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act and addressing the intimate partner loophole through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, there is still more work to keep firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers, like requiring background checks on all gun sales, enacting and enforcing extreme risk protection orders, and requiring people to turn in their guns when they become legally prohibited from having them.
Over the past two years, the Everytown Gun Safety Support Fund has provided nearly $350,000 in grants to aid 40 domestic violence organizations. The grant program is continuing to support local and state domestic violence organizations with a demonstrated track record of supporting victims of domestic violence in their community with a focus on Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color, who are victims of intimate partner firearm homicide at the highest rates. Learn more about the grantees here.
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, or survivor of gun violence please do not hesitate to reach out.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or intimate partner 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 thehotline.org.