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Mass shootings often arise from domestic violence

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2015 | Domestic Violence

Domestic violence in Virginia can become much worse when the abusive partner obtains a gun. Shooters who engage in mass shootings are often people who were abusing their domestic partners. These shootings do not get as much media attention as the mass shootings that take place at movie theaters, churches and schools, but many people believe that there is an epidemic of domestic violence-related mass shootings.

A research group called EveryTown looked into shootings that took place between January 2009 and July 2015 where four or more people were killed. EveryTown found a domestic violence connection in 76 percent of these shootings. A large number of the female victims in the shootings were killed by their romantic partners. Some domestic violence shootings begin as a single murder but turn into a mass shooting when neighbors get involved.

Many victims of domestic violence are women, and many domestic violence shootings result in women being killed. According to the study by EveryTown, 50 percent of the victims of mass shootings that it covered were women, but women account for only 15 percent of firearm deaths that are not related to mass shootings. Women in the United States are 11 times more likely to be killed by a firearm than women in other countries.

Women who are the victim of domestic violence may be reluctant to leave their partners because they have fears about how the separation will affect child custody. A family law attorney can often assist a mother who is in this kind of a domestic situation to petition for protective orders and full child custody.