Domestic Violence and Firearms

By: Betsy Pownall, LPC

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior; a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against the other. It includes physical violence, emotional violence, sexual violence, and economic and emotional/psychological abuse.

All information below is from the  National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: 

Did you know? 

  • More than 10 million adults experience domestic violence annually.
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men experience sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime.
  • 23.2% of women and 13.9% of men experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime.
  • Abusers’ access to firearms increases the risk of intimate partner death at least five-fold. 

Firearms as tools of terror:

  • Firearms are used to control, terrorize, and intimidate victims and survivors of domestic violence; most intimate partner homicides are committed with firearms.
  • An abuser’s access to a firearm increases the risk of death by 1,000%.
  • Women in the United States are 11x more likely to be murdered with a gun than in other high-income nations.
  • Possession of a firearm does not make a woman safer: an abused woman’s purchase of a firearm increases the risk of intimate partner violence by 50% and doubles the risk of firearm homicide by an abusive partner.

Domestic Violence in Oregon: 

  • 39.8% of Oregon women and 36.2% of Oregon men experience intimate partner violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.
  • On a single day in 2020, 59% of Oregon’s domestic violence programs reported serving 1,123 adult and child victims of domestic violence. In 24 hours, 300 hotline calls were received, averaging 13 contacts per hour. Victims made 118 requests for services that were unmet due to a lack of resources.