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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Connie M. Simmons

In memory of Robin Jackson McAllister

My spouse was experiencing enormous migraines that were a result of multiple traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Her thinking was compromised, and during the last few months of her life, she was becoming more verbally abusive. We had another fight over nothing, and she had said something that I was walking into the bedroom to hear. She started pulling the trigger at me in the doorway, and I started telling her to stop and put the gun down. She then turned the gun to her head, pulling the trigger continually. In one fast movement she pulled back, armed it and shot herself in the head.

It’s still very fuzzy. I lost the other half of me that morning. My life has changed since I moved back to my hometown of Des Moines. Yet the facts remain the same: I wish there would have been a red flag law then.

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