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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Brandi Locke

In 2016, my husband, an Army veteran with four deployments, experienced difficulty processing his experiences and finding his identity outside of the military. One evening, I returned home with my children. As we entered our home, all of the lights were off. We were met by my husband, with an AK-47 strapped around his body. In a very serious voice, he informed me that there were people outside our home. With my coaxing, he returned the AK-47 to his locked gun safe but emerged carrying a bayonet, moving in stealthy motions throughout the home.

Eventually, that evening, the bayonet was exchanged for a pistol. He slept on our sofa with the pistol resting on his chest. I spent the night with my children, locked in a bedroom, terrified, questioning what action would be in the best interest of my children and my husband.

Ultimately, our marriage ended.

Today I continue to experience nightmares about that night. I awaken with the same fear, three years after the event. My thoughts about guns and gun legislation have changed. I hope that U.S. citizens will work cooperatively to legislate changes that make sense and create more security for everyone.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.

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