Advocacy is an extension of the work we do at Saint Martha’s. In addition to advocating for the individual women and children we serve; we advocate around issues impacting the lives and safety of all victims and survivors in our community.
This month, staff and board members worked alongside Tyler McClay, Director of Advocacy for Catholic Charities St. Louis, and met with legislators in Jefferson City to discuss the need for common sense gun laws. Senators Beck (D-01) and McCreery (D-24) have introduced bills which provide that after a hearing for any full order of protection in which an order of protection is granted, the court shall also prohibit the respondent from knowingly possessing or purchasing any firearm while the order is in effect.
All too often, advocates hear the stories from women who have been threatened with a firearm or whose abusive partner continues to have access to a firearm, even after an Order of Protection is granted. The principles of Catholic Social Teaching include advocating for the Common Good and in Solidarity, which requires us to act together to address societal problems that undermine the common good.
These bills have the potential to save lives and it will take all our voices to collectively advocate for change. We will continue to monitor SB 59 and SB 431 and provide information and expertise around this important topic.