Women’s history month is a time to highlight that gun violence is a women’s issue and women are leading the violence prevention movement. Here are some sobering statistics that highlight why gun violence is a women’s issue:
- Every month, an average of 53 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner.
- Illinois’ gun violence epidemic reached historic levels in 2020, and women were directly impacted. In Chicago alone, 65% more women were shot or killed in acts of gun violence than in 2019.
- Firearms are the leading cause of death for children and teens. And no one gets in the way of a mom on a mission!
Here in Illinois, women are leading the fight to expand background checks to all gun sales by supporting HB3245/SB568, the Block Illegal Gun Ownership (BIO) and Fix the FOID bill:
- State Representative Kathleen Willis: Rep. Willis is the lead House Sponsor of the BIO Bill. She has championed and passed landmark gun violence prevention legislation like the Combating Illegal Gun Trafficking Act and the Firearm Restraining Order.
- Reverend Larita Rice-Barnes: Rev. Rice-Barnes works for LiveFree in East St Louis, where you are 19 times more likely to be shot by a gun than any other city in America. She has organized communities of faith to support solutions like the BIO Bill that will curb the flow of illegal guns to Black and Brown communities.
- Maria Pike: Maria is a survivor of gun violence having lost her son Ricky to Illinois’ gun violence epidemic. Maria has become a fierce advocate for ways to reduce gun violence, such as expanding background checks to all gun sales.Click here to stand with these women champions and ask your lawmakers to expand background checks to all gun sales.
As our partner and gun violence survivor, Gabby Giffords says, “Strong women get things done.”
I hope you are inspired.