February 1-7 is National Gun Violence Survivors Week. Join us to honor survivor voices.

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Celeste Iroha

A New Day

I was 14 years old when I began dating someone I met from church. I was young and in love (or so I thought). Little did I know that being with him would be my worst nightmare. We dated for three months on a “honeymoon phase,” and then we ended up breaking up. After a while we ended up getting back together, and that is when I saw his true colors.

Fast-forward to the trauma I began to feel …

He would physically abuse me for not doing little things that he wanted me to; he would push me down the stairs and laughed as he did it. He would smack me around if I said “no” to things I never wanted to do, but I kept saying “no” because I was uncomfortable.

More pain and hurt came along, as I was threatened by people he knew, who said that what I went through was all lies — who said that “we would ‘pop’ you” if I didn’t stop sharing my story. I am a survivor of domestic violence and gun violence. This has to end.

This is my story and moment that survives.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.

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