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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Brenda and Julia

We asked everyone for help. Doctors, police, neighbors. But no one can ever do anything until it’s too late. It has been more than 11 years since Mom was shot and killed. The flashbacks still come, but fortunately they are less frequent. I find peace when I close my eyes, sit with Mom hand in hand, and feel her watching over me. Her infectious smile fills me with so much warmth and love. My uncle, her brother, who took her life and tried to take mine, is in prison for life. While I still get angry, a little over a year ago I went through a victim-offender dialogue process and met with him. His smile was huge when he saw me. But I won’t say that it’s easy. We occasionally talk on the phone, but as a victim I’m not allowed to visit him, only that once, chaperoned. I’m not sure I fully believe in forgiveness, but I do know that too much anger exists in this world. We must find peace if we are going to stop this violent path. I miss Mom so much. And I will keep her memory alive and her love and peace in my heart.

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