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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Brian Shahwan

My parents immigrated here from Jordan when my dad was getting his Ph.D. He became a top chemist at AstraZeneca and encouraged my mom to open her own home decorating business. They had two daughters and a boy, me. One night, while they were closing my mom’s store, my mom’s brother walked in, shot and killed my dad and then turned the gun on himself. My mom was there when it happened.

My sisters were 18 and 16, and I was 11. Our whole world changed in a matter of seconds. To this day, no one knows why it happened, but they knew my mom’s brother was having mental health issues. My mom was devastated and wore no makeup and all black for about 10 years. She went back to the store where it happened and continued to open for business. She was never the same, but now, after 20 years, she’s slowly getting back to who she was. She never remarried or dated. People don’t understand the true impact of what guns can do when your whole world is turned upside down by one. We have to make a change.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.

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