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Is Having a Gun for Safety Associated with Feeling Safer, Safety Planning, and More Assertive Responses to Conflict Among Women with Interpersonal Victimization Experiences?
Violence and Gender  (IF),  Pub Date : 2020-12-08, DOI: 10.1089/vio.2020.0035
TK Logan

Some violence victims are advised to obtain a gun for safety, while others are discouraged from obtaining a gun. This study compared women with interpersonal victimization experiences who did (n = 107) and who did not (n = 372) own a gun on their worry about victimization, safety planning activities, safety efficacy, and responses to conflict. Results suggest that women gun owners did not worry about their safety more than nongun owners, but they did spend significantly more time and attention on general safety planning, they had higher safety efficacy, were more comfortable with thinking about their personal safety, they were more confident in their ability to stop an attacker, and more of them use safety devices beyond a gun compared to nongun owners. Furthermore, more gun owners indicate that they would respond assertively to someone they felt was crossing their personal boundary, felt better about how they responded during their most recent interpersonal conflict, were more likely to say they would intervene if they saw someone being attacked, and more of them had given safety advice to friends and family recently than nongun owners. This study also found that more gun owners had been threatened with a gun than nongun owners. Information from this study may help professionals who work with victims. In some cases it may be better to work with victims interested in obtaining a gun rather than to outright discourage them to mitigate gun risks and to ensure that they have safety plans and strategies that go beyond the gun.