Dear Friends of 180 and all concerned members of the community,
Our hearts are with Texas. 180 Turning Lives Around is mourning the loss of life in the most recent mass shooting. It is without hesitation that I am compelled to share with you two simple facts:
• When abusers have guns, people are at a high risk of homicide.
• Mass shooters often have a history of domestic violence - in fact nearly 60 percent of recent incidents.
The threads of domestic violence in the lives of these perpetrators are important to note:
Santa Fe High School, Texas - where 8 students and 2 teachers were killed, and where according to the mother of one of the victims, her daughter had rejected the killer's advances for months.
Orlando Nightclub - where 49 were killed and 53 injured, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, the perpetrator cruelly abused his former wife, isolating her from friends and family.
Parkland, Florida - before the mass shooter killed 17 students and teachers, he was abusive to his girlfriend, stalked her, abused animals, owned guns and was expelled from high school for fighting with his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend.
Planned Parenthood, Colorado Springs - where three individuals were shot to death, the killer beat and raped his wife and had been previously arrested.
Boston Marathon - before planting the bombs that killed three people and injured more than 260, the killer was arrested for beating his girlfriend.
Kansas - an hour and a half after receiving a restraining order stemming from a domestic violence complaint filed by his ex-girlfriend the murderer equipped with assault rifle and pistol killed three and injured 14.
And the list goes on. The statistics regarding DV and gun access are staggering. When an abusive partner has access to firearms, statistics show that domestic violence is more likely to turn deadly. According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, the presence of a gun in domestic violence situations increases the risk of homicide for women by 500 percent. More than half of women murdered with guns are killed by family members or intimate partners.
Our commitment to empowering survivors of domestic violence to turn their life around is paramount. However, in light of the link we see between mass shooters and domestic violence, we also remain steadfast to advocating for laws that prohibit domestic abusers access to guns and we implore the community to immediately hold abusers accountable for their behavior.
180 Turning Lives Around, Inc.