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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Chelsea

The tragedy that occurred at my university, Virginia Tech, on April 16, 2007, haunts me to this very day and always will. My younger sister and I shared our only class together ever on the second floor of Norris Hall every Tuesday and Thursday morning for three months.

We sat side-by-side in the first two desks near the door of the classroom. Where it was safe. Where we were supposed to be. We studied the U.S. policy process in that room. In that classroom, we talked about how laws are made and why policies are created and how they are supposed to protect and benefit the citizens of our country.

April 16 was a Monday. I turned 22 years old on April 16, 2007. It marked the date of my birth. For 32 innocent members of the Hokie Nation, that date also marks the day of their untimely, unnecessary deaths. My sister and I were unimaginably lucky that the senseless tragedy took place on Monday and not Tuesday morning. But that is nothing but cold comfort.

This has to stop.

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