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Phoenix residents who have suffered injuries from domestic violence from their partners have an ally in former Arizona Democratic representative Gabby Giffords. She recently addressed the Protecting Women from Gun Violence function in Washington D.C. designed to highlight the link between firearms and domestic violence.

Giffords spoke haltingly, saying, “Dangerous people with guns are a threat to women.” The lingering problems with her speech fluency are a result of the 2011 Tucson mass shooting that left her shot in the head. Since the tragedy, she has advocated for stricter gun laws.

Her organization, Americans for Responsible Solutions, released results from a poll that indicate there is strong bipartisan support from female voters to toughen the restrictions on firearm purchases by those convicted of domestic abuse.

After Giffords’ speech, a forum presented research indicating a greatly increased danger for females living with abusers who were firearm owners.

A survey done by the National Domestic Violence Hotline showed that 22 percent of victims of domestic violence in relationships with gun-owning partners have received death threats or had other family members threatened with gun violence. Of those who said that they believed their boyfriend or spouse was capable of murdering them, the numbers climbed to a shocking 67 percent. Only 34 percent of those responding knew that they could petition the court to order a convicted domestic abuser to surrender all guns.

The time when a woman leaves her abuser is generally the most dangerous period for gun violence. It is then that she most needs to be surrounded by strong support from all sides. Reaching out to an Arizona legal professional for advice and guidance is one option that is available.

Source: New York Daily News, “Gabby Giffords warns of gun danger against women in domestic abuse incidents,” June 18, 2014

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