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Domestic Violence: Lives Taken Too Soon - WTLC
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Domestic Violence: Lives Taken Too Soon

20 Feb Domestic Violence: Lives Taken Too Soon

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 25: Chicago Police crime tape is displayed at the scene where a 16-year-old boy was shot in the head and killed and another 18-year-old man was shot and wounded on the 7300 block of South Sangamon Street on April 25, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. Last week Chicago reached over 1,000 people shot since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

WTLC is an organization based in hope, but it is important to acknowledge this fact: domestic violence often ends in death.

One of the primary factors that can cause an incident of domestic violence to escalate to homicide is access to a gun. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide for women by 500%. Additionally, women in the US are eleven times more likely to be murdered with guns than women in other high-income countries.

Additionally, looking at the recent mass shootings in the United States, you might have noticed a common theme linking a number of them: a history of domestic violence or violence against women by the shooter. An analysis of mass shootings from 2009 to 2016 by Everytown for Gun Safety showed that in 54% of mass shootings, the shooter killed an intimate partner or family member.

WTLC strives not only to help survivors heal from situations of violence, but also to help prevent that violence from occurring in the first place. Our prevention programs teach members of the community to recognize red flags in personal relationships and respond safely to unhealthy or potentially dangerous situations. As a society, we need to learn to do the same.

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, in states that require a background check for every handgun sale, 38% fewer women are shot to death by intimate partners. If we do our due diligence to recognize the red flags—a history of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, or other violence against women—we can prevent intimate partner violence from escalating to homicide.

But WTLC continues to be an organization based in hope, and our vision for a safer future does not end with ensuring individuals with a history of violent behavior do not have access to firearms. We also strive to build a society where these individuals with a history of violent behavior have access to the resources and support necessary to heal, learn, and grow.

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