When Melody McFadden was 17, her mother was shot and killed in a domestic violence incident. Her mother’s boyfriend, who committed the murder, was a prior convicted felon who had obtained an illegal weapon. In 2014, Melody's niece was killed by a stray bullet, also from an illegal weapon.
Ruhi Bengali is a new mom and a gun violence researcher whose work reveals that women with children, including those who are pregnant or postpartum, face significantly higher risk of gun violence from a partner or former partner than any other demographic in the United States.
Melody and Ruhi are important voices at the intersection of gun violence and intimate partner violence: both are mothers who are working to better understand the underpinnings of gun violence against women in order to create a safer future for mothers everywhere. Together they are also a wellspring of knowledge on issues surrounding gun access, related legislation, current research, and boots on the ground action to reduce gun violence against mothers.
Ruhi Bengali is an Associate Research Director at Everytown for Gun Safety and leads their research efforts on the intersection of gun violence and intimate partner violence, the impact of gun violence on children and teens and school violence.
Melody McFadden is a gun violence survivor and volunteer with Moms Demand Action in South Carolina as well as a Senior Fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network. Melody is a dedicated advocate for gun violence prevention, with a specific focus on the many facets of domestic violence, trauma, and prohibiting people with dangerous histories from obtaining guns.