An abusive partner’s access to a firearm is one of the strongest predictors of intimate partner homicide, and there is evidence that laws limiting abusers’ access to firearms are associated with fewer fatalities. Yet, there is a movement to increase access to firearms as a strategy for self-protection among intimate partner violence (IPV) victims. The present study describes both firearm-related and non-firearm-related protective actions among victims of IPV, and further examines which factors (e.g., pro-gun attitudes) are associated with engaging in firearm-related protective actions. Questionnaires were administered to women recruited from six domestic violence shelters in Texas from December 2017 to September 2018. Nearly 13 percent of victims in the analytic sample (N = 197) engaged in one or more forms of firearm-related protective actions in the past year. Multivariate analyses revealed that participants were more likely to have engaged in firearm-related protective actions if they experienced higher firearm-related IPV and if they held stronger pro-gun attitudes. The results highlight the importance of basing firearm policy on empirical evidence as firearms can have deadly consequences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science