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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Lynn Van Tiem

In memory of My mother and my brother

My mother was a passionate, opinionated woman. She was also sick. She was loving and brave and brilliant. She was dangerous and deadly and cruel. On a Friday night, when I was 10 years old, she got angry that the clothes in the dryer hadn’t been folded. Two hours later, she put a gun to her head like she’d done a dozen times to threaten us. This time, she pulled the trigger.

Four year later, my brother drove my sister and me to high school on the day back from Christmas break. He wasn’t there to drive us home at the end of the day. His girlfriend drove us home, and we found his body. He was in the same room where mom took her life. He was blue and lifeless, gunshot wound to the head.

I firmly believe life would have been completely different if we had not had guns in the house. I firmly believe that our legislators know this and do nothing to stop it because they profit from our collective tragedies.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.

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