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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Saleh Kassabieh

I was a freshman in high school. Fourteen years old. I was a little punk weirdo with only a handful of friends. For some reason, Saleh was my friend.

He was an anomaly in high school. Never hid behind the school and smoked cigarettes like me and my best friend did. But he would still hang out with us. Never identified with any particular group. Jocks liked him. Hip-hop kids liked him. Burnouts and preps. So fun, so friendly, so cool. Invite him to your party, he’d show up. He loved the big booming systems everyone at the time was installing in their car. The heavier the bass, the better.

So when a kid that was a friend of a friend asked if he wanted to come check out his new system, he, being the guy he was, of course said yes. A short time later this almost 16-year-old kid would emerge from his parents’ garage as 14 year old Saleh and his best friend sat in the front seats, point a gun at my friend, and pull the trigger, killing him. He was free two years later when he turned 18.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.

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