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Never in a million years would I have imagined I’d be a person to share my story, or to even be a victim in a crime such as mine. I’ve always lived my life to see the best in people. I met my attacker 11 years ago. Shortly into the relationship, I noticed red flags. Hints of controlling behavior started to show, but I overlooked those signs and continued down this path. There were violent behaviors over the years. When things became too much to deal with, I’d leave. All my personal belongings were destroyed.

In 2020 I finally left for good. In mid-2021, I started to date again, not knowing my ex still lurked in the shadows. My new friend and I were attacked by him at a gas station. My new friend was shot twice and unfortunately died at the scene. I was shot inside the store three times — once in the head. Thankfully, I survived.

Tragedy seem to strike every day. I am here today to say we have to be the change.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.