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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Kavanaugh Observes Domestic Violence Awareness Month

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – October marks the observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh joins the U.S. Department of Justice in commemorating DVAM, paying tribute to victims and survivors, and saluting the dedication of advocates, service providers, justice professionals, law enforcement officers, and first responders who tirelessly work in support of survivors.

Domestic violence, dating violence, and intimate partner violence can have long-lasting impacts and consequences. Approximately one in four women and one in seven men will experience severe domestic violence in their lifetimes; however, rates are disproportionately higher for American Indian and Alaska Native populations, women of Color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and two-spirit people, and people with disabilities. DVAM provides an opportunity to spread awareness about domestic violence and encourage everyone to play a  role in ending gender-based violence.

“Domestic violence is not a self-contained singular problem with a singular solution. It crosses all economic, racial, educational, and cultural backgrounds, and the generational impact can be devastating,” United States Attorney Kavanaugh said today. “As federal prosecutors, we use all the tools at our disposal, along with our partnerships with state and local officials, to ensure victims have a viable path to safety and justice.”

A crucial part of combatting domestic violence and reducing violent crimes includes enforcing federal firearm prohibitions. Domestic violence abusers with access to a gun are five times more likely to kill their partners. In addition to their lethality, firearms are used by abusers to inflict fear, intimidation, and coercive control. Under federal law, people with domestic violence misdemeanor and felony convictions, and those subject to domestic violence protective orders, are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms.

According to National Crime Victimization Survey data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly 20% of all violent crime is categorized as domestic violence.

“In the Western District of Virginia, our team of victim specialists, investigators, and prosecutors are dedicated to fostering awareness, facilitating intervention, and holding accountable those who commit acts of domestic violence,” U.S. Attorney Kavanaugh added. “We are confident that these, and other actions, will lead to more secure, violence-free communities.”

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence or need resources, please visit:

Immediate help for domestic violence victims: Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (@ndvhofficial) at 1-800-799-7233 or Strong Hearts Native Helpline (@strongheartsdv) at 1-844-762-8483.

Updated October 10, 2023

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