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Mass Shooting Reports Lead To Huge Surge In Calls To National Domestic Violence Hotline

Woman with phone

All the news about ongoing mass shootings in America has led to a surge in gun-related domestic violence reports and a massive increase in calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline in 2017.

The number of calls to the hotline skyrocketed by 75% in 2017, following a year that saw a 50% increase in gun-related domestic violence reports.

Despite what Trump and the NRA would have us believe, most mass shootings aren’t happening in gun-free zones. They’re taking place in the home, related to domestic violence, and guns make it more likely violence will occur.

Reports from Everytown for Gun Safety reveal that about half of mass shooting from 2009-2016 involved domestic or family violence.

The risk of death for abused partners is 5 times greater if guns are present in the home.

Other notable increases: 12% more reports involving children, 14% more reports involving stalking, and 13% more reports involving immigration issues.

Survivors are seeing reflections of themselves in the wave of stories of mass shootings. Some are calling in to warn about spouses who they fear might be capable of carrying out such a horrific act themselves.

Calls involving the issue of immigration and domestic violence saw an increase of 13% following Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies.

Sadly, immigrants are being kept in abusive relationships by the threat of deportation.

Hotline CEO Katie Ray-Jones said women are responding to news of immigrants being deported and separated from their children.

“It’s mostly women reaching out in fear because of what they’re seeing on TV. Their abusers say, ‘That’s going to be you. I’m going to get you deported, and you’re never going to see (your children) again.’ They leverage that to keep her in the relationship.

Not only does the fear of deportation keep women in bad relationships, but it also keeps those women from seeking protective orders in court, for fear they might come under scrutiny from ICE. The same fears keep neighbors who witness abuses from coming forward.

Hotline advocate Paula Davis said:

“They have a whole other level of fear that they’re dealing with — the thought of going back where they came from (and) leaving children with someone who was mistreating them,” Davis says. “As a parent, our first priority is our children.”

Although men make up less than 10% of the calls to the hotline, the CDC says that one in seven men have been abused by an intimate partner, compared to one in four women. Men may be ashamed to admit their abuse from women.

The surge in hotline calls hasn’t been met with an increase in staff to take those calls, and roughly 98,000 calls were left unanswered.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is asking for donations to help with the increased demand for their services.

If you need their assistance, you are definitely not alone:

Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY for Deaf/Hard of Hearing) or chat with us by using the “Chat Online Now” button @

See more from USA Today below:

Featured image: Woman with phone via Max Pixel

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