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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Erica Lafferty-Garbatini

In honor of Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung

On December 14, 2012, my mother’s life, along with 25 others, was stolen from this world.

After a long day, filled with just bits and pieces of memory of being trapped in a room of the Sandy Hook fire house, I was told that my mother did not make it out of the school alive.

She had been in a meeting when she heard the noise of bullets breaking through glass. She stood from her chair and walked towards the door of the conference room. She saw the shooter. She turned briefly to warn the others. “SHOOTER, STAY PUT!”

I wonder if she knew that those words would be her last.

I read these words on her death certificate:
Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung.
Age 47.
Cause of death: Multiple gunshot wounds.

It was then that my life was changed forever. I still do not believe that there is “healing” from a trauma like this. You just learn to survive. For nearly seven years, I have survived.

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