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One night when I was 19, I was at work alone and I was closing the store up for the night. A man walked in, ran to me, put a gun to my head and demanded I open the register and give him the money, which I did. Afterwards, he dragged me to the back room – gun still to my head, where I thought surely I would be sexually assaulted, killed or both.

As I sat there, crying with my eyes shut, thinking this was it – he left. I don’t know what made him stop and leave, but I am so thankful he did.

The police never looked for him, and they never followed up with me. I quit my job, finished school and have worked through that trauma. I am now a nurse, an educator and an advocate for those without a voice. I am so much stronger than I ever give myself credit for.

But still, even though it’s been over 15 years, I still have nightmares about the night a man with a gun almost cost me my life.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.