Unfortunately, domestic violence is almost an epidemic for families in California and throughout the country. In some cases, the perpetrator ends up shooting a partner as well as other family members, including children.
While there are no easy answers about how to stop the epidemic of domestic violence and the problem of guns in combination with it, steps need to be taken. It is beyond a political issue and is a real problem for families everywhere. Of women killed by guns, approximately two-thirds die at the hands of their intimate partners, a statistic that is sobering and shocking.
According to Everytown, a gun safety organization, of the shootings in the U.S. involving four or more fatalities between January 2009 and July 2015, half of the victims were women. Women only account for 15 percent of those killed in other types of gun deaths. In 76 percent of the fatal cases involving mass shootings and female victims, the incidents were related to domestic violence. Everytown described a pattern that these cases typically take. At first, the perpetrator may begin with emotional abuse, then gradually escalating their behavior to physical abuse and eventually, shooting. It is important to note that not all victims of domestic violence are women, however. Men are also sometimes abused and victimized.
A person who is the target of domestic abuse needs to seek help. In many cases, victims feel terrified and paralyzed about action. In addition to contacting law enforcement, they may also want to meet with a family law attorney about seeking a restraining order against the perpetrator. In some cases, exiting the situation is necessary in order to save both their lives as well as those of their children and other family members.