1 in 4 Domestic Violence Victims Threatened with a Gun

Published: Apr 20, 2017 | Author: Julie Germann, J.D., Finding the Right

One in four victims of interpersonal violence in Connecticut have been threatened by their abuser with a gun, according to a new Yale University study. Yale researchers interviewed 298 women in the Greater New Haven, Connecticut area who were recent victims in criminal domestic violence cases involving male intimate partners to determine the prevalence of firearm threats.

Of those women surveyed, 24.2 percent said they had been threatened by their partner with a firearm. One-fifth of women indicated that their partner had owned a firearm during the course of their relationship. Of those surveyed whose partners did not own a firearm, half of the women believed their partner could easily acquire a firearm if they desired one.

In October, 2016, a new law went into effect in Connecticut, requiring a person to surrender their firearms if they are the subject of a temporary restraining order. Often it is the victim who provides the court with information about whether the subject of a restraining order possesses firearms. Victims routinely provide information about the number, type and location of firearms in the restrained person’s possession. Despite this, victims in Connecticut do not receive notification regarding a defendant’s compliance with the requirement to surrender or transfer those firearms. Currently, even if a victim seeks information from law enforcement they will be told that this information is confidential.

Senate Bill 980 seeks to provide victims with some small measure of safety, by creating an obligation for the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public to Protection to notify individuals protected by restraining or protective orders whether the subject of that order complied with firearm surrender. Senate Bill 980 is currently under consideration before the General Assembly in Connecticut.

To view the Yale study published by the journal Violence and Gender, click here. The Senate Bill 980 can be found here here.

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