September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.  Read and share stories to honor survivors whose loved ones died by gun suicide.

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Frances Southwick, DO

When I was 5, my dad hid his guns under my bed instead of putting them in a safe.

When I was 10, I went to a gun show with my dad. We bought whatever we wanted. And we could have bought more. No background checks, no nothing. Just cash.

When I was 13, I went to a boy’s home. He took me to the basement, pointed to a closet, and said there was a handgun there. Through that threat, he subdued me and raped me. That’s how I lost my virginity.

When I was 15, a nearby mass school shooting occurred and left 15 dead and our entire school shaking.

When I was 25, my anatomy teacher ended his life with a handgun.

When I was 29, a man killed 12 people in a movie theater I used to go to.

When I was 30, a psychotic patient of mine shot and killed people at our local hospital. He had been keeping a list of names of doctors he deemed good and bad.

When I was 32, my sister held the hand of a child who was shot and killed by his father.

And now I am 36. Gun references make me nauseous. I’ve been in such unnecessary danger. We all live in an unnecessary level of danger.

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