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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Tina D.

In honor of Emily Sonneman

Emily was my only niece! (I have 10 nephews.) One week after Emily’s 24th birthday, she was brutally murdered in broad daylight by her ex-boyfriend. She was held at gunpoint for over an hour, then jumped off the second-story balcony of his apartment to escape. Despite being shot twice in the process of jumping, she was able to run nearly 500 yards before collapsing. Her killer shot her two more times at close range. Emily died at the hospital a short time later, after reporting the details of her ordeal.

Emily was brave, kind, athletic and FUN! She was her brother’s best friend and her mother’s pride and joy! She was my daughter’s most adored cousin and a best friend to so many!

Two years after Emily’s murder, her mother, Connie (my sister), died in her sleep of heart failure at the age of 57. My remaining siblings and I know that Connie died from a heart so stricken with the grief of losing her cherished daughter, it could no longer function.

We miss them both every day.

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