October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Read and share stories to honor survivors whose lives have been changed by domestic violence.

total hearts received for Moments That Survive

James Russell

My father, Jim, was a respected doctor in the small town I grew up in. He was a kind man who taught me how to throw a football, fish and hunt.

I was 15 when my mother rushed in to take me out of class. I could tell something was wrong. When we got outside, she told me my father had shot himself. He was in the hospital on life support.

I remember visiting the hospital. I was afraid. I remember I was able to hold his hand. I really don’t remember saying anything. But I do remember him saying, “You don’t understand.” He died two days later.

It wasn’t until many years later, attending a Moms Demand Action meeting in Atlanta, when I heard the stories of many gun violence survivors, I realized I might be a survivor too. When I shared my loss with the group, I struggled. I was afraid again. But the women at that meeting hugged me and said we were family. That felt good.
I know that now we are family. They give me strength because I know our family is strong and we will never give up our fight to end

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.