Progress Iowa Executive Director Matt Sinovic issued the following statement in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month:
“Safety in our communities and at home is sacred to Iowa families. But too often, partners and children face intimidation and violence under their own roofs. During the month of October, we stand with survivors and victims of domestic violence. In Iowa, 35 percent of women and 29 percent of men experience domestic violence, and from 2015 to 2020, 325 people were killed in domestic violence incidents. Domestic violence harms victims, survivors, children and even bystanders, and this month we call for changes to mitigate intimate partner violence.
“We appreciate the work that President Biden and Democrats in Congress have done to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and enact the Safer Communities Act this year. But we recognize that there is more to be done to keep families safe. While federal law prohibits domestic abusers from purchasing firearms, that law only applies if the abuser has been convicted of violence in a relationship, not if the abuser has a restraining order against them. This oversight means that dangerous abusers will still have access to guns, and we call for this loophole to be closed at the federal level.
“In Iowa, the gun amendment proposed by the Republican-led legislature to the state constitution will have untold consequences on sensible safety regulations, allowing dangerous abusers to access firearms and potentially carry them without limit. This reckless amendment will endanger the safety and lives of many victims and survivors, children and community members. We are firmly against the amendment, and encourage everyone to vote ‘No’.
“These proposed actions are not a solution, but merely common sense measures to create a safer society that each of us, including survivors of domestic violence, deserve.”