The Law Enforcement Action to Halt Domestic Violence (LEATH) Initiative is named in honor of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Officer Breann Leath, who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic disturbance call.
A partnership among the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the IMPD, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana, the LEATH Initiative focuses federal, state, and local law enforcement resources on domestic violence offenders who illegally possess firearms.
The LEATH Initiative, which began in October of 2020, recognizes the inherent danger posed by firearms in the hands of domestic abusers. Abusers with guns use them to exert power and control over their victims, and access to a gun makes it five times more likely that a male abusive partner will kill his female victim. According to the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, there were 98 intimate partner violence-related fatalities in Indiana, an increase of 181% over the same period in 2019-2020. All but two of those fatalities involved the use of a firearm. This trend appeared to continue in 2022, and intimate partner violence-related killings have still not returned to pre-pandemic levels.
The following types of cases fall under the LEATH Initiative:
- Defendants who commit any federal firearms offense and have a demonstrated history of domestic violence;
- Defendants in possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence; and,
- Defendants in possession of a firearm while subject to an active protective order where the protected party is a current or former spouse or intimate partner.
Where to get help:
Report armed domestic abusers by calling 888-ATF-TIPS
A comprehensive list of domestic violence service providers in Indiana can be found on the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence website.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be contacted at 800-799-7233 or www.thehotline.org.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be contacted at 800-799-7233.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline can be reached at 800-656-4673 and is available via 24-Hour Chat at www.rainn.org.