During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Domestic Violence Task Force Co-Chairs Gwen Moore (WI-04) and Debbie Dingell (MI-06) introduced a resolution recognizing the intersection of violence against women, gun violence, and misogyny.
“People with a history of domestic violence shouldn’t have access to guns – period. The evidence is clear and convincing that the presence of a firearm in an abusive situation makes homicide five times more likely,” said Rep. Dingell. “Congress must act to close loopholes in the law that allow abusers to access guns and put women and families in danger. We must also confront the root causes of domestic violence, understanding the way individuals who exhibit misogynistic tendencies toward women often go on to commit violence against them."
“Misogyny continues to be a major driver of gun violence and domestic violence, with too often, fatal consequences for women. Between 2015 and 2019, more than 11,000 women in America were killed with a gun,” said Rep. Moore. “While I was proud to support the bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which worked to close the boyfriend loophole; we must build upon these efforts. As a domestic violence survivor and legislator, I remain focused on championing legislation, including the Violence Against Women Act and gun violence prevention proposals. With the important Rahimi case before the Supreme Court, this resolution is a resounding call to act now.”
“Guns are a deadly tool used by abusers to exert power and control, to intimidate, to terrorize, and often kill victims. Most domestic violence homicides are committed using guns. The National Network to End Domestic Violence commends Representatives Gwen Moore and Debbie Dingell for introducing a House resolution reaffirming the importance of preventing individuals with a history of violence against women from possessing firearms. This resolution is especially timely given the Supreme Court’s upcoming review of U.S. v. Rahimi, where the Court will decide whether it will protect survivor and community safety and keep guns out of the hands of abusers,” said Melina Milazzo, Deputy Director of Public Policy, National Network to End Domestic Violence.
“YWCA thanks Congresswomen Gwen Moore and Debbie Dingell for championing a resolution that makes clear the significant links between mass shootings and domestic violence, and the disparate impacts of gun violence on women of color. All women and girls deserve to live free from the threat of gun violence and their voices need to be highlighted in the debate about gun violence,” said Margaret Mitchell, CEO of YWCA USA.
"The intersection of misogyny, gender-based violence, and gun violence creates a deadly combination that has gone unaddressed for far too long in our nation. The presence of firearms in cases of domestic violence is known to dramatically increase the risk of homicide and escalate an already dangerous situation," said Ruth Glenn, President of Survivor Justice Action (formerly the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence). "These interconnected issues must be addressed collectively to create a safer future for all survivors."
“The likelihood that an interaction will result in a woman’s death is significantly higher when her abuser has access to a firearm. American Indian and Alaska Native women face the highest rates of domestic violence in the country, making firearm restrictions for perpetrators of domestic violence essential to the safety of Indigenous women and communities. The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center supports the efforts of Congresswoman Moore and Congresswoman Dingell to recognize the dangerous intersection of domestic violence and gun violence,” said Lucy R. Simpson, Executive Director of the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC).
“Guns and domestic violence are too often a deadly combination,” said Kiersten Stewart, Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy. “We need to do everything we can to keep firearms away from domestic abusers and help victims know where they can get help. Thank you Congresswomen Moore and Dingell for drawing attention to this critically important issue.”
"With 96 lives lost, 2022 was the highest year on record for domestic violence homicide and murder-suicide in Wisconsin. This loss of life is horrifying, precisely because it is preventable," said Monique Minkens, Executive Director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. "Now is a critical moment, before the Supreme Court makes a decision in U.S. v. Rahimi. Will they protect future victims of abuse, or further enable those with access to firearms to commit violence against their victims? The choice is theirs."
This resolution is introduced ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court hearing oral arguments on the Rahimi case, which will determine whether a federal law prohibiting individuals under a domestic violence civil restraining order from possessing guns, violates the Second amendment. In February 2022, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the federal law was unconstitutional. According to the CDC’s The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report, more than one in three women have experienced some form of intimate partner violence, including sexual violence, physical violence or stalking in their lifetime. This tragic reality is compounded by America’s gun violence epidemic. According to Everytown, 70 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner each month, which only magnifies the need for further gun violence prevention measures.
Read the full resolution here.
Dingell has long been a champion of eradicating domestic violence in communities across the United States. In 2018, Dingell established the Bipartisan Working Group to End Domestic Violence to bring together a bipartisan group of members to identify ways to strengthen resources and protections for survivors and their children. Last Congress, Dingell led the working group alongside Reps. Debbie Lesko, Gwen Moore, and Young Kim.
Since 2015, Dingell has led the introduction of the Zero Tolerance for Domestic Abusers Act to close the boyfriend loophole and keep guns out of the hands of abusive dating partners and stalkers, and some of these provisions were included in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that became law in June. In September 2022, Dingell led 62 of her colleagues in sending a letter to the Department of Justice urging proper implementation of the provisions to narrow the loophole to ensure survivors of domestic violence are properly protected.
Dingell was also proud to support the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization Act of 2022 which was passed as part of the Omnibus appropriations package enacted last year. This reauthorization contains groundbreaking and lifesaving provisions to strengthen and modernize VAWA, including two provisions written and led by Dingell. Among other improvements, the reauthorization expands prevention efforts, increases support and protections for survivors, and launches a national campaign to address campus sexual assault and sexual assault in the military.
Earlier this year, Dingell, alongside Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced new legislation to protect survivors of dating violence and stalking by closing loopholes that allow abusers and stalkers access to guns. The bipartisan Strengthening Protections for Domestic Violence and Stalking Survivors Act of 2023 makes two commonsense updates to federal law to address existing loopholes that make it easy for perpetrators of dating violence and those convicted of misdemeanor stalking to legally access guns.
In August, Dingell, along with Representative Fitzpatrick and Senator Klobuchar filed an amicus brief in the pending United States v. Rahimi Supreme Court case, which will consider whether individuals with domestic-violence restraining orders can be prohibited from possessing a firearm. The brief asserts that Congress enacted a firearm prohibition for individuals subject to a restraining order nearly three decades ago with strong bipartisan support from even the staunchest defenders of Second Amendment Rights. Strong evidence points to the fact that individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders pose an immediate danger and should not have access to firearms, a principle that has guided decades of regulation and has been deemed consistent with the Second Amendment.