One-Day Symposium/Conference

Friday, May 5, 2023 (est. 10 a.m.–3 p.m.)
Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

Every month, around 70 women in the U.S. are shot and killed by their partners. In fact, firearms are used in the majority of domestic violence homicides today.

The Supreme Court’s recent Bruen decision stands to make this crisis worse.

What will be the further implications of the Court’s decision for the domestic violence crisis? How has the proliferation of guns in U.S. homes shaped historical patterns of domestic (physical, sexual, and psychological) abuse? What are the lessons from history? What will the likely role of history and historians be in a post-Bruen world where “historical analogy” is the primary test in deciding legal cases?

This one-day symposium will convene leading researchers and practitioners from a variety of perspectives for a wide-ranging conversation about how firearms and domestic violence are entwined, historically and today. Speakers will include:

Historical Research

Laura F. Edwards, a legal historian at Princeton University and the author of five books about legal and gender history in the United States. 

Elizabeth Pleck is professor emerita of history and human development and family studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an expert on the history of the family and legal, political, and medical campaigns against domestic violence from colonial times to the present.

Legal Research

Victoria Nourse, Ralph Whitworth Professor of Law at Georgetown University and central staff drafter of the 1994 Violence against Women Act and the Brady Bill. 

Kelly Sampson is Senior Counsel and Director of Racial Justice at The Brady Center in Washington, D.C and the author of The Right Not To Be Shot: Public Safety, Private Guns, and the Constellation of Constitutional Liberties, published in the Georgetown Journal of Law and Policy. 

Policy Research

Alicia Nichols, LSW, the Director of Innovation at the Battered Women’s Justice Project (BWJP) and Deputy Director of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and Firearms. 

Julia Weber is Director and Associate Director of the National Center on Gun Violence in Relationships and Project Director of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and Firearms.

Public Health Research

Jacqueline C. Campbell, professor and the Anna D. Wolf Chair at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and the national program director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Nurse Faculty Scholars program.

Matthew Miller, Professor of Health Sciences and Epidemiology at Northeastern University, Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Co-Director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center.