The stay-at-home orders amid COVID-19 have had unintentionally harmful results when it comes to intimate partner violence (IPV). We are living in a global moment of high stress, with abusers and the people they abuse forced into close contact, “and my hypothesis is that any kind of horrific anything externally can exacerbate domestic violence,” said Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN in an interview with the LA Times back in March. Fast forward to October, and IPV is being called “a pandemic within a pandemic.”
Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN is an international expert on domestic violence and the creator of the Danger Assessment (recently modified for police use); it’s a tool that helps determine the likelihood an abused woman has of being killed by her current or ex intimate partner. Even more recently, she’s been awarded funding for two research studies to address gun violence in four states:
A Comparison of Firearm-Related Intimate Partner Homicide in Missouri and Oregon: Prevalence, Risk, and the Effect of Firearm Regulations
A Comparison of Firearm-Related Intimate Partner Homicide in Texas and Maryland: Prevalence, Identification of Those at Risk, and the Effect of Firearm Regulations
The studies are part of a collaborative effort with Arizona State University Schools of Social Work and Criminology, the Texas Council Against Domestic Violence and the University of Missouri School of Nursing to analyze the role of guns as a risk factor in domestic violence homicides and homicide-suicides. “They will be the first studies to examine cases of men as well as women killed by partners and to include cases of Indigenous persons and other “hidden populations” killed by partners in order to determine if risk factors including gun ownership are stronger or less strong in these cases,” said Dr. Campbell.
Fifty-four percent of American women killed by an intimate partner or ex are killed with guns. A woman is five times more likely to be murdered if the abuser has access to a firearm. And abusers are more likely to have a gun in the home. And we’re at home right now.
“Killers are more likely to act impulsively if they have access to a gun in the home,” said Dr. Campbell. “The gun is what makes it all too easy for there to be this kind of horrible tragedy.”
Women experiencing Intimate Partner Violence can download myPlan, an app by Dr. Nancy Glass, which can help assess the health and safety of a relationship, make decisions about safety and well-being, and connect you to resources.