March 11, 2022

Alyson Malinger, West End Strategy Team; (917) 935-7311

Gun Violence Prevention Advocates Celebrate Critical Advancements in Safety for Women

For more sustainable change, EFSGV calls on the Senate to close the dating loop hole

WASHINGTON — Today, gun violence prevention advocates at the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence celebrated Congressional passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization Act of 2022 within the omnibus package, landmark legislation that will expand services for sexual assault survivors, especially for Black and minoritized communities disproportionately impacted by intimate partner violence-related homicide.

VAWA will create programs and protections for women currently in federal custody, enhance housing protections and increase investments in culturally responsive services, among other necessary policy changes. Importantly, this law would also expand the ability of special assistant U.S. attorneys to enforce federal firearm laws, thereby ensuring that many abusers do not have access to their guns.  Advocates noted that the bill failed to close the dating partner loophole, allowing intimate partners with previous abuse records to purchase firearms, and strongly urged Congress to take additional action to close this increasingly deadly ambiguity in the law.

Spencer Cantrell, Director of Federal Affairs at the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence said:

“The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence is thrilled to see so many critical advancements for survivors in the Senate’s bipartisan passage of VAWA Reauthorization, particularly with the added attention to underserved and marginalized communities. Nevertheless, there remains a significant and lethal gap. Failing to close the dating partner loophole neglects the nearly 1 million women who have been shot or shot at by an intimate partner.

“Domestic violence, including intimate partner violence, is a public health crisis in this country, which has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly one in four women and one in seven men will experience severe violence at the hands of their intimate partner in their lifetime. To reduce the number of domestic violence homicides, we must ensure that people who abuse their intimate partners or family do not have access to firearms.”

Lauren Footman, Director of Outreach & Equity at the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence added:

“Guns and domestic violence are a lethal combination. And while women of all ages, races and ethnic backgrounds can be victims of homicide or intimate partner homicide, young, women of color, particularly Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women, are especially at risk. As VAWA takes significant steps to look at the whole person and communities who have been minoritized, it still leaves some survivors quite vulnerable. We call for more robust protections and more reliable, accurate data about vulnerable populations to both understand the severity of the problem and to determine how to provide services and policies in an equitable manner.”

If you are interested in speaking further with representatives of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence about the Violence Against Women Act, or the organization’s ongoing work to combat gun violence tied to domestic abuse, please contact Alyson Malinger at and (917) 935-7311. 


The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (EFSGV) develops and advocates for evidence-based solutions to reduce gun injury and death in all its forms. EFSGV uses a public health and equity lens to identify and implement evidence-based policy solutions and programs to reduce gun violence in all its forms and to make gun violence rare and abnormal. EFSGV is the founder of the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy, a group of academics and practitioners who collaborate to develop innovative recommendations for policymakers.