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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Pam L in FL

On Labor Day 1980, one of my brothers came into my Hollywood, Florida, home armed with a handgun and a fish fillet knife. As he shook me by the shoulders, he told me I loved someone else more than I loved my family. He was obviously in crisis.

As he held me down with the knife to my throat, I said, “If you’re going to kill me, do it fast.” I must have blacked out because I don’t remember how I made it to the front door. With one hand on the dead bolt and the other on the doorknob, he said to me, “If you open that door, I will kill you.” With that I unlocked the the dead bolt, turned the knob and ran as he shot the gun.

I hid in the darkest corner of the yard behind a bush, watching him go in and out of the house. He stole my car and was in a hit-and-run accident. I told the police what happened and where to find him, but they did nothing. They said since he had been given permission previously to drive my car, it technically had not been stolen and let me know where to find my car.

I lived my life in fear from that day forward. I moved 2300 miles away, and that helped somewhat, but it meant leaving the love of my life, who I’d been with for nine years.

After 9/11, airports were made safer with TSA. Seatbelt laws were enacted, and deaths due to auto accidents went down. When laws are changed due to safety issues, they work. Why can’t the wealthiest country in the world get it right with guns? It’s out of control.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.

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