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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AuroraDawn1

In memory of Melodie Esparza

Two days before Christmas, December 23, 2014, my sister Melodie Esparza was taken from our family. Her soon-to-be ex-husband shot her and then killed himself.

The week before, I had to have surgery, and my sister was with me at the hospital almost every day. She brought me home December 22. My parents and children were waiting for us to have dinner. My sister was talking about the holidays and saying that it didn’t seem like Christmas. Her divorce would’ve been final December 30.

The next day, I was waiting for my sister. We were supposed to go have lunch. Then I received the call. I could hear my sister telling someone, “This is my sister, Dawn. Tell her that my husband Gabriel shot me!” I couldn’t drive and didn’t have access to a vehicle to drive. When our family reached the hospital, the doctor told us she received unsustainable life injuries. Even though she fought for her life, received pints of blood, and the doctors did everything they could, she was pronounced dead at 2:47 p.m.

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