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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April Schentrup

In memory of Carmen Schentrup Carmen Schentrup

My name is April Schentrup. On Valentine’s Day 2018, my world forever changed. On that day, my youngest daughter would survive the mass shooting in Parkland, FL and her 16-year-old sister, Carmen, would be left for dead in her AP Psychology class.

In an instant, four bullets ended Carmen’s dreams. She never had the chance to go to prom, graduate high school, attend college to become a medical researcher, cure ALS, or have a family of her own.

Immediately after Carmen’s death, I struggled to get up or even speak. I longed to hug her, hear her sing and tell funny jokes, and listen to her play the piano.

After hearing the facts that led to Carmen’s death, I channeled my anger into action. Along with the other families of the victims, we helped strengthen FL’s gun laws. And I continue to fight for laws and policies to reduce gun violence in our communities and make our schools safer.

Pushing through my pain is what makes me a SURVIVOR. I FIGHT LIKE A MOTHER because Carmen should be here. I SPEAK OUT because Carmen can’t. I DEMAND ACTION because my remaining children deserve a safer world. We all do.

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