Join us on June 7-9th for Wear Orange, as we unite in our call to end gun violence and honor the more than 120 people who are shot and killed, and hundreds more who are wounded and traumatized, every day in our country. Read some of the stories of those affected by gun violence below.

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Jessi Fuchs

One night about nine years ago, after getting off work, I parked in a downtown parking lot. I was so excited because I was going to see my best friend that was in town, visiting at one of our favorite local spots. It was dark, but there were streetlights and a few other people around. As I walked down the breezeway, I saw a guy walking in my direction. As he was about to pass me, he stopped. He put his left arm around my shoulder and with his right hand he shoved a gun into my side. He told me to walk and not to scream. Terrified, I complied. My mind was racing, thinking of what he wanted and what I could do to protect myself. Miraculously, I stayed calm and began to talk to him. I did my best to make him see me as a human, not a target. But still we walked. Within only a matter of minutes, I found myself in a dark corner with this man pointing a gun at me telling me to take off my clothes. I had to decide if I would rather be raped or risk being shot. To make a horrifying and long story short, with some more persuasion and some bribery, I was able to get away without physical harm.

As I write this story, I remember that those minutes felt like they lasted years — and in a way, they did. They lasted years because today I am still affected by those minutes. I still feel fear when walking alone, even during daylight. I still feel rage, then sometimes helplessness. I worry that if this culture of gun violence and sexual violence doesn’t change, that my daughter could one day have a story similar to mine or worse. That thought makes me physically sick. I do my best to channel these negative feelings into action by volunteering with Moms Demand Action. I refuse to do nothing because I know that together we can break the pattern and protect our loved ones and ourselves.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.