It is encouraging to read of the efforts of two Maryland survivors of domestic violence to raise awareness of what is really a public health crisis (”After experiencing domestic violence, two Baltimore survivors organized a walkathon to raise awareness,” Nov. 9). In the U.S., an estimated 10 million people experience domestic partner violence each year, and 40% to 70% of female murder victims in the U.S. are killed by a husband or boyfriend, often in the setting of an abusive relationship.
According to the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, last year, 56 Marylanders lost their lives to domestic violence, and in the first three months of this year, 460 violent domestic crimes were reported in Baltimore.
Not surprisingly, guns are often involved in domestic abuse. Because a woman is five times more likely to be killed in a domestic violence situation if a gun is present, stricter gun control measures could play an important role. In states where there are laws requiring or allowing judges to order gun relinquishment from people with domestic violence restraining orders, there has been a significant decrease in domestic partner homicides. Other measures that have been shown to be effective include using temporary or emergency restraining orders, applying firearm restrictions to dating partners and linking the background check process to the restraining order database.
Thanks again to Ashley Rivera and Lauren Williams for bringing attention to this important but often overlooked issue.
Beryl Rosenstein, Pikesville
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