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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My father was a domestic abuser, whose violence and threats had gotten so bad that my family and I had to escape in the middle of the night. Leaving him did not end his threats, though. He threatened to kill himself as a way to manipulate us to come back. He continued to threaten my immediate family and anyone he thought was keeping us away from him.

One night, many months after I had escaped, I received a call from my mother. She told me that my uncle had done a wellness check on my father, and that he had found an arsenal of weapons that my father had collected. Apparently my father had planned to make good on his threats, but my uncle was able to remove the guns before my father was able to use them on anyone. I am grateful that no one was murdered by my father’s hands, but I still grieve, knowing that many families are not as lucky as mine.

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