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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Leslie A. Washington

I am a gun violence survivor. I left an abusive husband who continued to threaten me, even after I escaped to a shelter in another part of the state. My ex-husband posted pictures of himself with a gun and contacted me, telling me that he was going to kill me. He threatened my mother, telling her that he would find me at the safe house where I was residing. He showed up at my ex parte court hearing, trying to scare me.

That my ex-husband had a firearm, even though he had a history of abuse and was a convicted felon, shows what happens when our gun laws are not adequate and not adequately enforced.

February 1 through 7, 2021, has been designated National Gun Violence Survivors Week by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense and Everytown for Gun Safety. Cape Girardeau Mayor Bob Fox issued a proclamation designating this same week as Gun Violence Survivor Week in our city at the February 1 City Council meeting. I was honored to attend and represent other survivors like me as a member and volunteer leader who is a part of the Southeast Missouri local group of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.