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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Lashea Cretain

Honestly, I count myself lucky compared with people who have lost their loved ones to gun violence. My babies and aunt were spared the day my ex shot me five times before killing himself. Although I live every day with pain from my wounds, I am so grateful that I survived and got the chance to raise my beautiful children.

During my fight to survive, I decided to name the five bullets in my body after the five elements that helped see me through – FIGHT, FAMILY, FAITH, FORGIVE and FORGET. I think of them as The Power of Five. I’m a positive person, and I try to stay busy and give back to others as much as I can, but I definitely have low days from time to time. When I do, I give myself a day off, and I still turn to the Power of Five for comfort and strength. One day, I hope they will help other people, too.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.

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