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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Kristy Burrus Clay

In honor of Krissia Ansara Henderson Burrus Krissia Ansara Foundation

Who would have thought on the 7610th day, after we said, “See you later”, that later would never come.

She was filled with excitement as she prepared to go to dinner and the movies wearing her new Champion grey and black outfit that she modeled for me on my way out. We finally said our goodbyes at 6:15 pm on August 25, intended to resume August 26.

Around 10:00 pm my doorbell rang. It was not until 1:00 pm on August 26, answering my son’s fourth call did I get the news. His painful cry challenged my understanding, but I had to get to the hospital.

Arriving to see Walsh (her computer generated name) on the 11th floor, I was redirected where I waited for 40 minutes. One of the three staffers told me my daughter did not make it. When I asked to see her, they said she had passed at 4:55 am and was already removed. One nurse went on to say, “You would not have wanted to see her because of the swelling in her head — she was unrecognizable.”

The detective came thereafter, filling in the gaps that included 26 shots fired intended for her passenger, whom she knew for 11 days.

Holding on to God, we honored her in Virginia and Ohio, where we are from. It was during the Ohio journey that news of gun violence in Cincinnati and Cleveland got me busy.

Arriving back to Virginia, I continued the momentum joining numerous groups to prevent gun violence.

I have been robbed of 7611 days and beyond. I cannot bring my baby girl back. But my efforts can make her live.

This issue is not specific to Virginia, nor is it based on color or economic/religious status. This is a rights issue. One that we own.

Let’s work together to gain what is rightfully ours. One voice is heard by few — many voices are heard by more.

Will you join me? Together we can be more.

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