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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Denise Gates

In memory of Stephanie Rochelle Gates

November 18, 2011. That is the day my beautiful daughter was murdered by her husband. November 20, 2011, is when my life as I knew it stopped. That’s the day I found out that he had killed my “baby.” She was only 34 and had a young son who, unfortunately, witnessed his mother’s murder. I don’t go a day without at least one tear falling. The gun used was purchased by her for him.

I didn’t know of the abuse. If there was a law that checked the backgrounds of family members, it would have found his prior gun charges. Nothing will bring her back, yet I wait for the phone to ring. We don’t need more guns; we don’t need assault rifles or “bump” kits. We need to find a way to love one another. I will never be the same. I find it difficult to go outside. It seems the friends that I had just don’t know what to say anymore. I don’t know what to say anymore. Please put the guns down.

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