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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Chyriese K

On my birthday five years ago, my cousin, sister, grandma and I were driving down the road, listening to music loudly and singing along. We didn’t hear the earlier gunshots, so when we pulled up to the stop sign, and loud pops were heard, we first thought it was firecrackers. Until our windows shattered. I looked to my left and I saw the man with his gun aimed at us. “Grandma,” I shouted. “Go, it’s a gun.”

Off she went, all of us screaming and crying. I desperately looked behind us as we drove, hoping that he wasn’t going to follow us. As we drove, my grandma began to say that she felt pain in her hand and leg. She told us that she may be shot. She pulled into a parking lot, and we sat there, hysterically crying. I quickly called 911 and followed the directions of the operator. First to tell her where we were, and then to see if anyone was hurt. I told her my grandma was feeling pain, so she told me to check on her.

I got out of the car, and opened her door. There, on the floor, was a pool of blood. I nearly collapsed and began sobbing again. I knew then that she was shot. What seemed like after forever, the ambulance finally found us and took my grandma to the hospital. After she was taken, we were left alone in her car, waiting for our family to come pick us up. When we finally reached the hospital, we found out that my grandma was shot twice and would need her finger amputated. My sister, cousin and I were not physically hurt, despite our car being hit with more than 10 bullets.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.

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