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Domestic Violence and Guns

 Guns and Domestic Violence are a lethal combination

Gun violence and intimate partner violence (IPV)

Gun violence and intimate partner violence (IPV) are deeply interconnected, with devastating impacts on not only individual victims, but also their families, communities, and the nation. Research has clearly shown that guns can turn IPV deadly.  Women, children and even bystanders are all at risk and are injured daily in the United States as a result of an abuser having access to a firearm.

In fact, abusers with access to a gun are five times more likely to kill their female victims.

One of the most effective interventions is removing guns from known domestic abusers.

According to a 2018 article in the American Journal of Epidemiology, state laws that restrict firearm access in domestic violence cases when a restraining order has been issued are linked to a 13% reduction in intimate partner homicides committed with firearms.  In Colorado, we enacted a law in 2013 that helps to restrict domestic abuser’s access to firearms.

In states that require a background check (such as Colorado) for every handgun sale, 47% fewer women are shot to death by intimate partners.( Gun Laws and Violence Against Women, Everytown for Gun Safety analysis. Available here: laws-and-violence-against-women-2/ )

The evidence is clear:  Common-sense laws that keep guns out of the hands of abusive partners reduce gun violence and IPV. 

What can I do if I am in danger?

If you are in immediate danger and your abuser has access to firearms, you can file an Extreme Risk Protection order with your county or district court to have them removed. You can also contact law enforcement.  To learn more, click here: ERPO 

Other resources:

Violence Free Colorado (formerly Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence) –

Safehouse Denver –

TESSA (Colorado Springs) –

Victim Assistance Unit of the Denver Police Department 720-913-6035

  • Victim Specialists from the VAU are on-call and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for on-scene response
  • Provides crisis intervention, assistance and services to victims of crime to which the Denver Police Department has been called.

Victim Services Network (VSN)

  • Connects and supports agencies and communities to provide integrated services to victims of crime in Denver, Colorado.
  • Offers information to Service Providers to access trainings, event calendars, and technical assistance.
  • Provides information on the Colorado Victim Rights Act and resource directories.

Denver Center for Crime Victims (DCCV) 24 hour hotline: 303-894-8000 (English) / 303-718-8289 (Español)

  • Provides free, culturally and linguistically responsive services to victims of crime and crime prevention education. 
  • Serves all victims of crime regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or national origin in over 41 languages and dialects.