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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Charlene Anderson

On July 22, 2014, I was shot by my father. He fired three shots one towards my head, and one towards my back, as I ran towards the door. The last one hit me in the upper thigh. The bullet severed the femoral artery, and massive amounts of blood gushed out as I ran. I felt no pain, only weakness as I unlocked and opened the door. I made it outside and instantly fainted. I lay on the ground for a while, going in and out of consciousness, telling myself not to move, don’t struggle because if I did I would lose more blood. While lying there, my body went into shock. When officers arrived, they assumed I was dead. My father called and said he had killed me. I was transported to the hospital; they immediately started blood transfusions. I lost seven pints of blood. I was on the brink of death. After compartment surgery, plastic tubing to replace the severed artery, and physical therapy, I survived. I have several scars due to past and recent surgeries because of blood clots and scar tissue, but I’m grateful to be here to live and tell my story.

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