In many ways, Vermont is a safe state. AND...
...that sadly does not translate into safety for everyone.
- Vermont consistently has higher a higher rate of domestic violence than the national average. 50% of domestic violence homicides are committed using guns.
- Vermont's suicide rate is also higher than the national average. Among suicides, guns account for 55% of deaths. Boys and men are far more likely than girls or women to use a gun to attempt suicide.
- Vermonters who served in the armed forces represent 20% of all suicide deaths in the state.
- Access to a gun makes it 5 times more likely that a male abuser will kill his female victim.
It doesn't have to be this way.
Education, advocacy, and strong laws can help keep guns out of the wrong hands.
Keeping guns out of the wrong hands can save lives.
Gun Violence Prevention and the COVID-19 Crisis
Vermont leads the nation in vaccination rates, but unfortunately, the effects of the pandemic are not over. Our neighbors are still struggling with anxiety, depression, joblessness, hunger, and other major stressors. It is incumbent upon all of us to help where we can, support where we're able, and keep one another safe.
GUN SAFETY AT HOME
- NOW is the time to ensure that every gun in your home is stored locked and unloaded in a gun safe, inaccessible to children or anyone else who should not access it. If your safe has a programmable combination, change it. Lock ammunition separately.
- Remember that gun safes can also help protect against theft and fire.
- If you are considering buying a gun, include the cost of a gun safe in your budget. If you can afford a gun, you can afford safe and proper storage.
- If you own a gun but not a gun safe, NOW is the time to get one. There are many inexpensive options available online.
- VT Dept of Health information on general child safety during Covid-19
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a great online guide that covers everything from combating feelings of isolation to getting care if you are without insurance. Please take a look and bookmark.
- Pathways Vermont operates a "warmline" where you can find support, even when not in crisis. Call or text 833-VT-TALKS.
- For a list of crisis call lines by county, visit Vermont Care Partners
- Parents' helpline for advice, referrals, or a sympathetic ear: 1-800-244-5373
- For the Vermont Crisis Text Line, text "VT" to 741741
- For the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, call 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255)
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESOURCES
- Statewide domestic violence hotline: 800-228-7395
- National domestic violence textline: Text "LOVEIS" to 22522
- Statewide sexual violence hotline: 800-489-7273
- For agency contact information by county, visit the VT Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence
- For additional resources, visit the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence Resource Page.
Waiting periods work. Period.
GunSense Vermont is Vermont's only independent, non-partisan gun violence prevention group. We are a movement of Vermonters focusing on transformation at the state level, because that is where laws are being changed and individual action has the most impact.