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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Tom Bissonette

YoungAndWiser, Inc.

I worked the late shift and stopped to eat on the way home. After leaving, I was ambushed – a gun pointed at my head. The robber ordered me to drop my wallet and walk away.

After I got about 30 feet from him, I heard the gunshot and felt it rip through my skin on the right side of my back. I knew I was hit but had no idea how badly. I made a split-second decision to act as if I wasn’t wounded. I believed that if he knew he hit me he might feel more inclined to finish the job. Terrified, but relieved, I heard him drive away.

I was bleeding, and I called for help. When I arrived at the ER, they told me that if the bullet had been even a quarter-inch to the left, it would have entered my chest cavity and destroyed vital organs. It’s a miracle I survived.

I suffered from PTSD for years, and my family suffered too. I eventually decided I would not let this incident control my life. I don’t live in fear anymore, but I’ll never forget. Some bullets ricochet in hearts and minds forever.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.