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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Deanna Culver

My experience with guns has been traumatic. It involves my ex-husband. During many arguments, he threatened to kill me. He’d tell me that if he couldn’t have me, then no one could.

On one occasion he had the barrel of a rifle against my throat, calling me names and threatening me. As he got angrier, he leaned in towards me, picked me up and threw me across the room. I ended up breaking my fall by falling into the cat box. I got up, grabbed the phone without notice. As I hit redial, I put the phone behind my daughter. I thought one-button redial was better than trying to dial 911, since he’d notice the phone dialing. I’ve never called for help because of fear, so this was the first time reaching out to anyone, let alone my parents.

Unfortunately, I’ll never forget what my father said to me after things calmed down this time: “What’d you do to get him mad?” I didn’t contact the police, so life went on as usual. After another year of abuse, I made a decision to escape with my daughter with careful planning from every angle possible. Divorce papers filed.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.

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