October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Read and share stories to honor survivors whose lives have been changed by domestic violence.

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Anonymous

I appreciate this virtual platform, as it allows me to communicate about a night I don’t talk about. I did not realize until I joined Everytown: I have been a survivor for more than 30 years now.

My husband was abusive, and when I finally left him for good, he found out where I was living and showed up. I was seeing someone else, and we were going out. As I sat in the passenger seat, my husband pulled alongside and started talking. We were driving down a busy street, and when my husband did not like the response from the guy I was seeing, he shot him. The bullet struck the guy in the arm. Subsequently, my husband was convicted but only served a couple of years. After going to the hospital and talking with the police, I went home. I was alone and afraid. I crawled around the townhouse on the floor, afraid my husband would come back and shoot through a window. I had to move again.

When I look back on my life with my husband, he had always carried a gun. We slept with a gun hanging on the bedpost. He always had to be ready for an intruder. I had no idea of the subliminal message I was getting. Domestic violence was my life during that marriage. When I gathered my courage and followed through with an order of protection, there was a court advocate who spoke and helped me through the unfamiliar proceedings. An attorney tried to talk to me before I went in front of the judge, but I refused. I was unfamiliar with the entire process and did not know the woman was an advocate. I did not know anything about advocates. I did not know how to stand up for myself. Thank you Everytown Survivor Network for being advocates and for standing up for domestic violence victims.

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