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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Sylvia Banks

In memory of Micheal Wooten

I was blessed with seven beautiful grandchildren, six of whom are living. Micheal took his own life when he was just 10. Micheal would have been 15 this July. He had the most beautiful smile, so much like his mothers’. He was a well-rounded, engaged, happy kid. No one would believe that Micheal was a suicide risk!

My son and daughter-in-law felt they had done everything right. They spent many hours teaching their children about gun safety, that they were dangerous and should never be touched unless an adult was present. By keeping a loaded gun on a top shelf in their closet, they felt they were protecting their family. Little did they know that the harm would come from within.

Despite all of careful admonishments never to go into the closet, my 10-year old grandson did just that, took the gun and turned it on himself. We can only guess why. Was it a moment of desperation after a bad day?

My family has been devastated by Micheal’s death. It breaks my heart to see them suffer so!
To honor Micheal’s memory, I fight to strengthen gun laws.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.

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