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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Heather Baer

On December 19, 2019, I saw my middle child’s face change to an expression I’ve never seen before on anyone. I heard a tone in her voice I’ve never heard from anyone. “It’s a shooting, run!!!” This is what my newly 22-year-old baby girl said to me. We were at the mall to do some fun last-minute Christmas shopping, and instead it will forever be the day that changed the way I live my life.

I now look for every exit: Which is the closest? Where would a shooter come from? These things rack our brains no matter where we go. We are alive, we got out. We ran because I always told my kids, “Shoot me running!” Don’t hide, run.

We did that. Caroline said run, so we did. My heart breaks that my daughter recognized the sound and said those words. We are OK. We are thankful.

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