What is Moments That Survive?
Moments That Survive is a website and platform for all those that have been affected by gun violence to share their unique lived experience in their own words by submitting their story year round. The faces and stories of survivors put a spotlight on the human toll of gun violence.
Why do we share?
Sharing your story sends a strong message about the impact of gun violence and is a testament to the pain and resilience of gun violence survivors’ experiences. By sharing stories, we shine a light on the daily consequences of gun violence and the need to take action to end gun violence. Some survivors choose to share their stories to help bring about change so that others who have not personally experienced gun violence in their lives may never experience it. By sharing stories, we also help those who have lived through gun violence know they are not alone – there is a community of survivors standing alongside them.
Many find that sharing their story is healing, however sharing your story is a deeply personal choice. If you are not sure whether to share, please review this resource to help you as you consider this decision. Also, please know that others may choose to share your story once you have posted it to Moments that Survive.
My name is Sarah Burdine and I’m from Oklahoma City, OK. During my journey since my son Ciar was killed in 2012, I have met hundreds of other survivors and sharing my story and learning theirs has given me strength to continue my fight for justice and to advocate for other survivors. One of the greatest instruments I have used is Moments That Survive, a space where survivors can share as much, or as little, about their personal story as they’d like. What participants find is a safe and valuable place to share, read, and connect with other survivors.
Moments That Survive enabled me to share what was most concerning to me the day I shared my story- that my life has dramatically changed and will never be the same, and that my personal grief was compounded by my son’s case being unsolved. It was very comforting for me to know my Moments That Survive story was shared and sent out to tens of thousands on social media this past April. I truly have never felt as loved and supported as I did that day. Please accept my invitation to explore MTS and if fitting for you, to share your own personal story.
Who is eligible to share?
Anyone over 13 years old* that has been personally impacted by gun violence, including those who have witnessed an act of gun violence, been threatened or wounded with a gun, or had someone they knew and cared for wounded or killed can submit their story on Moments That Survive. This can include, but is not limited to those that have been touched by gun homicide, gun suicide, domestic violence involving a gun, or unintentional shootings. *You are not permitted to upload or submit any material to this site if you are under 13 years of age. If you are at least 13 years of age and less than 18 years of age (or the age of legal majority in your jurisdiction of residence), you may only upload or submit material with the permission and supervision of your parent or legal guardian, who consents to these terms.
Where do the stories go?
Posts on Moments That Survive are visible to the public and can be quoted or shared by anyone who accesses the website on social media, including but not limited to elected officials, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action staff and volunteers, and partner organizations for the purposes of gun violence prevention and gun safety educational measures. During National Gun Violence Survivors Week, National Gun Violence Awareness Day in June, and throughout the rest of the year, stories on Moments That Survive may be shared on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and are shared at live events and meetings.
What should I share? Do I have to share specific details?
If you feel comfortable, please share how gun violence impacted your life. This may include the circumstances of the shooting and educating others about how it impacted you as an individual. If your loved one was taken by gun violence, consider sharing who they were and what made them unique and special. Only share what you are comfortable sharing. You will have 200 words to share your story, so please consider what is most important for you to share. Love is the pathway of this journey, giving survivors the fuel to keep going. Your story and journey can only be told through your heart.
What if my story doesn’t fit a check box or certain narrative?
Moments That Survive is a place for survivors to share their unique perspective on their experience with gun violence. Your personal story is your own and the way you tell it will be individual and special to you. Nobody deserves to experience gun violence. Moments That Survive is not a place of judgement- this is a place to share your memories and moments that survive in your heart.
What if I wanted to share something funny?
Please share it! Your story is your own and should be told in the way that brings you the most comfort. Some people feel that sharing a funny story or memory is the way that best honors their loved one’s memory. Every survivor’s journey, experience and perspective is unique to them.
If my case hasn’t gone to trial, should I stay away from certain details?
You should only share what you are comfortable sharing. If your lawyer, victim advocate or the lead detective on your case advises you to not share certain details of your story, please follow their advice and don’t share that information. Moments That Survive will not publish personal identifiable information like phone numbers, mailing addresses, or emails, nor will it publish the names or images of alleged perpetrators in posts. Your safety and the resolution of your case should always be the priority.
What if I wanted to share a spoken word to tell my story?
At this time Moments That Survive does not have the ability to link video or audio comments, but feel free to write your spoken words.
What if I want to edit my story?
Once you submit your post, you will not be able to directly access it again to make changes or edits. If you see an error on your post once it is on the site or if you would like to make any changes, you can email email@example.com at any time to request those changes.
I would like to add a photograph. What kind of picture should I submit?
Photographs are a meaningful way to help people connect with your story and words. Please pick a photograph that you are comfortable sharing on a public site. Many people like to add a photograph of the loved one they are honoring. If you were the survivor of a shooting, you may choose to share a photo of yourself or of something that symbolizes your journey with gun violence. We find that the most powerful images are clear photographs of individuals that have not been altered or had text added. Photos with text including personal information such as phone numbers, mailing addresses, emails, or organization names will not be permitted. Photos with heavy alteration may be excluded by our site administrators.
How many stories can I submit?
Only one story per author will be published on Moments That Survive. Exceptions will be made for authors who submit multiple stories honoring different individuals.
I have submitted a story but cannot find it. Where did it go?
You will receive an email confirmation when your story has been published on Moments That Survive. Please allow a week after your submission to check the site. You can search for your story on the Stories page under the search bar on the right side of the page. If you are still unable to find your story for some reason, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be sent the link.
What if I want my story removed?
Your story will only be public on Moments That Survive for as long as you are comfortable. Once you submit your post, you will not be able to directly access it again, but if you decide that you no longer want your story to be visible on the site, you can email email@example.com at any time to request that your story be removed.
My story was not published. Why not?
If you submitted a story but it has not been published after one week, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire. To ensure that this website is a safe space to share stories, moderators review all posts before they are visible on the website, and they reserve the right to not publish the story if it does not meet the guidelines provided during the submission process.
I shared my story on the website. Now what?
When your story is published on the Moments That Survive, if you are comfortable, please feel free to share it with others and ask them to share it as well. Our goal is for your story to be told as widely as possible—your story matters! Once your story has been published, you’ll be sent an email notification. This email will include an invitation to join the Everytown Survivor Network, which is a nationwide community of survivors working together to end gun violence. The Survivor Network connects survivors to each other, amplifies the power of survivor voices, offers trauma-informed programs, provides information on direct services, and supports survivors who choose to become advocates.