Download the toolkit PDF here, and download graphics for social media use here. Social media guidelines are included in the toolkit.

Over the past ten months, BWJP/NRCDVF has researched public attitudes toward firearm-involved intimate partner violence, as well as attitudinal impediments to disarming domestic violence offenders, with support from The Joyce Foundation. The culmination of these efforts is this resource: More Than Just a Piece of Paper: A Toolkit for Advocates on Firearms and Domestic Violence During COVID-19. This toolkit provides advocates with tools for engaging conversations (both locally and on the state level) on the impact of firearms on domestic violence victim-survivors, particularly during periods of wide-spread crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two observations from the research were the woeful lack of public awareness of the relevant laws, and a sense of powerlessness among legal system practitioners. Consequently, the communication and messaging tools found in the toolkit were designed to promote public awareness and engagement around domestic violence and firearms, and to bolster confidence among courts, law enforcement and others that disarming domestic violence offenders is both achievable and effective. The toolkit theme—More Than Just a Piece of Paper—underscores that legal protections for survivors can have true protective power when supported by everyone in a community—both within the legal system and outside of it.

The spike in firearm sales driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the increased vulnerability of many domestic violence victims during this period, created new opportunities for engagement and conversation around intimate partner firearm-related homicide, and the role of different community members in providing pathways to safety for victim-survivors.

We designed this toolkit for advocates specifically, knowing that domestic violence advocates are the most credible messengers within their own communities on the impact of firearms on victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence advocates have strong relationships within the legal systems and within their communities more broadly, and speak from a survivor-centered perspective. 

This resource was created to be shared far and wide, and can be of service in communities throughout the country.

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