Police say one woman is dead after some sort of domestic dispute in Shrewsbury Monday night.

Vermont State Police responded to Cold River Road around 11:30.  They say a man was taken into custody, the shooting is still under investigation, but how much of a factor do firearms play in domestic violence situations?  The answer: too much.

Since 1994 half of all homicides in Vermont have been domestic violence related.  And half of those were committed with firearms.

“It’s one of the most frequent calls for the law enforcement community to respond too,” said Karen Tronsgard-Scott, a woman who’s spent 20 years working to decrease a crime centered on power and control.  She’s Executive Director of the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

“In far too many cases domestic violence is deadly,” stated Tronsgard-Scott.  She says domestic violence impacts families, friends  and communities.  And in more and more cases firearms are the batterer’s weapon of choice.  “We’re really concerned about this, and we think there’s an opportunity for us to take a good look at how homicides happen in cases where there’s domestic violence and take the steps that are necessary to reduce those numbers,” she explained.

She says while the state has been successful in training law enforcement officers to deal with and identify domestic situations, Tronsgard-Scott thinks universal background checks could be an answer for gun violence in the state.  Gubernatorial Candidate Sue Minter agrees.  “We know that in states that have background checks for handguns, there has been a 46 percent reduction in incidents of women being shot by their intimate partners,” said Minter.

Minters references a 2013 study ranking Vermont 8th in the country for it’s rate of domestic violence and abuse.  “I strongly support the 2nd Amendment, people’s rights to have guns, but my goal is to keep guns out of the wrong hands,” said Minter.

For those facing domestic violence situations, the experts agree while stepping forward can be very difficult, it’s the first step towards to finding help.  “If you know of a case of abuse, please share that, so that we can ensure greater safety,” pleaded Minter.

Tronsgard-Scott admits that finding a solution to domestic violence won’t come easy, but it’s one her organization is dedicated to finding.  Vermont does have 24-hour hotlines for domestic and sexual violence.  Click the links for more information.