October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 9 women are shot & killed each week by their abusers.
City, State and Federal politicians/officials joined a national advocacy group Moms Demand Action at a press conference today to highlight national domestic gun violence awareness – for stronger policies surrounding gun ownership & domestic violence (D.V.). This event was held at organizer Councilmember Steve Kozachik’s Ward 6 office, 3202 E. 1st St.
Arizona ranked #5 in worst homicide rate among female victims murdered by males, 56 % of those related to D.V, and 65 % killed by guns. This was from a report issued 9/25/13 by the Violence Policy Center, listing the 10 top states w/ highest rates of women murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents in 2011.
Moderater Ward 6 Councilmember Steve Kozachik started off by saying that there is a need for background checks at gun shows.
Jocelyn Strauss, Regional Mgr. of Moms Against Demand Action, who spoke first of this “devastating problem, the overlap of D.V. and guns”, being herself a seven year victim of an abusive relationship, both psychological & physical. She (a mother of two) said that “any incident of D.V. is intolerable.”
CD 2 Congressman Ron Barber, a father of two daughters and three granddaughters, said we “need to raise awareness about domestic violence”, and that the next step in federal legislation is universal background checks for gun owners. He is concerned that convicted D.V. abusers can still get guns online and at gun shows. Barber is himself a mass gun shooting survivor of January 8, 2011 at the Tucson Tragedy.
Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said that a gun in the household multiples the risk factor by 5 for violence. He said that “46 women will be murdered this month of October by their current or former partners”, that D.V. was “a crime of silence and control”.
LD 10 House Rep. Bruce Wheeler said that “common sense is missing” re: background checks, & that he was pushing to introduce Genna’s Law this year, and will continue again for this legislation next year (which would require breathalizer tests for accidental shooting cases). Genna Ayup was a 27 year old Tucson woman allegedly shot accidentally by her drunk boyfriend in 2012.
Ward 3 Councilmember Karin Uhlich said we need to “prevent violence against women, having worked in this field for 30 years”, and being a mother of several children.
City Manager Richard Miranda, the former Tucson Police Chief, said that back in the 1970′s D.V. was in the shadows, but that advocacy was abundant now to raise awareness against D.V.
Asst. Police Chief Brett Klein (head of investigative services bureau) related that in one year, TPD gets 9,000 calls on domestic violence, 5000 of those being physical assaults, 600 aggravated assaults where serious injury and/or a weapon was involved, 70 domestic violence aggravated assaults that involved the use of a firearm. Now there are D.V. Courts, trained prosecutors, victim services.
Also in attendance today were 1/8/11 Tucson Tragedy shooting victims Suzi Hileman and Pam Simon, as well as Mark Kimble (present on that day, but not shot). About 25 people were there, some from women’s advocacy groups such as the Pima County/Tucson Women’s Commission and League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson. Councilmember Kozachik’s wife Ann was also in the audience.
Red number 9′s were passed out, symbolizing the “nine women who are shot & killed each week by their abusers”.
More Info: www.momsdemandaction.org, email at email@example.com.
My previous post about National Violence Awareness Month, and Paint Pima Purple (click here).