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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Sylvester Gum Jr

Love Finds a Way faith-based program

My oldest brother, Sylvester Gum Jr., was murdered. He was shot in the chest twice with an illegal, unregistered gun. I was home on summer break from college. Our lives changed that summer of ’85. Nothing was ever the same because my oldest brother — my encourager, my best friend and our family provider — was dead. I remember the grief and sorrow of that horrible day. My mom had a grief breakdown. My dad was silent and prayed. My oldest brother was kind-spirited, generous and family-oriented. He never got a chance to see four small children grow up or me, his baby sister. He told everyone in the community that I was going become a teacher; he was so proud of me because I was the first to attend college in our family. I’ve only shared my story a few times with friends, but I feel the heartache of the sorrow, like it just happened, every time someone’s family is affected by gun violence.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.