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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Ashley Cech

In honor of Mom

On December 14, 2012, my mom was teaching a class to a group of fourth graders in her library at Sandy Hook School when a gunman burst into the school and killed 26 people, including 20 6- and 7-year-olds and six educators. Two additional educators were wounded and survived. Upon hearing the gunshots, my mom and her staff barricaded everyone in a supply closet, and thankfully all those in the library survived as a result of their quick thinking. It’s been six years since the shooting, but our community has a long road of healing ahead. I’m so grateful my mom survived that day, but our family was changed forever. My eyes were opened to the many ways that humans experience, cope with and heal from trauma. I learned not to take anything for granted with those I care about in life. I now back up all text conversations with loved ones to an external hard drive. When I hear a loud bang, I no longer jump each time, but I am on alert. The number 26 – the same number of lives taken that day – holds special significance in my heart. Like so many others, I’m looking to turn the experience into something meaningful that might positively impact someone else’s life.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.

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