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

total hearts received for Moments That Survive

Jessyca Sweeten

On the evening of July 23, 2019, I was driving home. Suddenly, there was a loud popping sound to my left, and the door window exploded into my face and eye. Thankfully, I was able to safely pull over and call 911.

The bullet struck the door, inches from my head. I was told I was lucky. I didn’t feel lucky.

To this day, I don’t know who fired that shot, or if it were an accident or intentional.

My story made the news, resulting in harassment from individuals claiming the event was a lie made to “push an anti-gun agenda.” Some harassers insisted that if I were carrying a gun myself, it never would have happened—as if carrying a gun while driving could prevent a stranger from shooting at my moving car.

I am still living with the physical and mental trauma, and I ended up quitting my job and moving to a different state shortly after the event. In the span of a few minutes, my life was changed forever. I hope that sharing my story can help spread awareness of the crisis our country is facing, so that no one has to experience the trauma of gun violence.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.