Firearms & Domestic Violence – Assessing the Risk

“Campbell, et al. (2003) found that women who were threatened or assaulted with a gun or other weapon were 20 times more likely than other women to be murdered. Women whose partners threatened them with murder were 15 times more likely than other women to be killed. When a gun was in the house, an abused woman was six times more likely than other abused women to be killed. Although drug abuse or serious alcohol abuse is related to an increased risk to a woman’s safety, threats to kill, extreme jealousy, attempts to choke, and forced sex present a higher risk (Sharps, Campbell, Campbell, Gary, & Webster, 2001). Any past attempt to strangle or choke a woman is a risk factor for severe or fatal violence. Other risk factors include when a couple separates, jealousy/possessiveness on the part of the abuser, and threats to kill the victim (Websdale, 2000).”