FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 5, 2016
CONTACT: Meredith Jacobs, VP of Communications
Washington, D.C. – Today, President Obama announced crucial executive actions to reduce gun violence in the United States. These actions include expanding and improving background checks, preventing firearms trafficking, increasing access to mental health treatment and encouraging better reporting of mental health records to the federal background check system, and promoting the development of new gun safety technologies. JWI was proud to be among so many distinguished members of Congress, members of the President’s leadership team, scores of victims of gun violence, and national advocates at the White House for this powerful announcement. Lori Weinstein, JWI’s CEO, issued the following statement:
“JWI applauds President Obama’s strong leadership to enforce the law, prevent gun violence, and make our homes and communities safer. The executive actions announced by the President today will keep guns out of the wrong hands, ensure that existing laws are enforced effectively, expand access to mental health treatment, spur the development of new and innovative gun safety technologies and increase focus on the intersection between guns and domestic violence. Gun violence has claimed too many innocent lives in our country, and these executive actions represent crucial progress toward a safer America for all.
JWI calls on Congress to follow the President’s lead by enacting legislation to protect victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating abuse, and stalking, who are placed at extreme risk by abusers with firearms. The presence of a gun in an abusive home increases the risk of fatal violence by five hundred percent, and over half of all women murdered by an abusive partner are killed with a gun. It is crucial to enforce current laws that prohibit convicted abusers and stalkers from possessing guns, and to pass legislation to close the loopholes that allow some convicted abusers and stalkers to still purchase and possess guns. JWI looks forward to working with the US Attorney’s office as they carry out the President’s directive to increase their focus on the intersection between guns and domestic violence.Guns and domestic violence are a lethal combination, and JWI is committed to working for commonsense solutions to ensure that guns are kept out of the hands of violent abusers. Through our Interfaith Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, we are lobbying for key legislation, educating clergy, and uniting a diverse interfaith community in support of closing the dangerous loopholes that put victims and survivors at risk.
We look forward to continuing our work with the Administration and Congress to prevent gun violence and ensure that all women, children, and families can live and thrive in safe homes and communities.”
Jewish Women International (JWI) is the leading Jewish organization working to end violence against women and girls domestically and internationally. JWI is a Steering Committee member of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women and convenes the Interfaith Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and the Clergy Task Force to End Domestic Abuse in the Jewish Community, and is a member of the Gun Violence Table. JWI’s advocacy efforts focus on the passage of legislation that supports women and girls, ensures their economic security, and protects their right to live free of violence.