JWI Responds to Supreme Court Decision in Voisine v. United States

Today’s ruling is a victory for domestic violence survivors


Meredith Jacobs, VP Communications
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Washington, D.C. – JWI (Jewish Women International) applauds the Supreme Court’s decision in Voisine v. United States, safeguarding a crucial federal law that keeps guns out of the hands of convicted abusers. The Court held that a domestic violence assault misdemeanor with a legal standard of “recklessness” qualifies as a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,” and the perpetrator is subject to the Lautenberg Amendment, a federal prohibition on gun ownership for some domestic violence offenders.

JWI signed on to an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to recognize that domestic violence is not a reckless, one-time occurrence, but an intentional pattern of conduct used to control and terrorize the victim. Abusers with firearms pose an extreme risk to the safety and lives of victims: Women in the U.S. are five times more likely to be killed by guns than women in other developed countries, and 55 percent of all women murdered by intimate partners are killed with a gun. The presence of a gun in a violent home raises the risk of homicide for a woman by a shocking five hundred percent. 

With today’s decision, the Court reinforced a crucial law and protected the lives of countless domestic violence survivors. Now it’s time for Congress to act, too. The Lautenberg Amendment only applies if the parties are current or former spouses, cohabitants, or have a child together; this leaves too many women at risk from violent dating partners, who commit nearly half of domestic violence homicides. JWI continues to call on Congress to close the loophole, keep guns out of the hands of abusers, and protect all women. Earlier this month, we delivered a letter signed by nearly 500 clergy, faith leaders, and faith-based organizations to every member of Congress. 

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Jewish Women International is the leading Jewish organization working to end violence against women and girls domestically and internationally. JWI is a principal leader of the Coalition to End Violence Against Women and Girls Globally and a Steering Committee member of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women. JWI’s advocacy efforts focus on the passage of legislation that supports women and girls, ensures their economic security and their ability to live life free of violence. For more information, please visit www.jwi.org or call us at 800-323-2823.