“The hardest about leaving the domestic violence situation was rebuilding myself. When I was impacted by gun violence, it broke me down. Not only from the fear, but emotionally. So, I had to build myself back up as a woman to know that guns are there to protect you. They should not be used against you. As well as knowing that who I am is a great person, and not who I was defined as with that gun up to my head.”

“My glasses share a part of my story because I wore these glasses the majority of my 10 year [relationship]. These glasses hid black eyes… I have two plates currently in my eye holding my cornea together from it being shifted. For the time that I had surgery for those pieces, I wore sunglasses. The times that I went through domestic violence, and I didn't want anybody to look at my eyes, because I felt that they could see my pain, I wore sunglasses. It was a way of hiding how I truly feel through these sunglasses. That was like my cage of being within my own world, hiding behind those sunglasses.”

“Once I got out of the domestic violence and the gun violence, that's when I started to see the ripple effect that it had on my children. When I had to go back [to my abuser], that's when the grades started declining. That's when the nightmares and the sleepwalking started to occur, when low self-esteem was visible. I apologized to them… also my family a because I shut my family out. Once they realized that I went back [to him], they cut me off. I had to make sure that I apologized to them - to make sure that they understood what domestic violence and gun violence is and why I went back.”

“I've never had anyone say to me that gun violence doesn't affect someone because they weren't shot. However, they don't necessarily have to say it. You can tell by the way they look at you that they're like, ‘Why are you standing here? Why are you standing with those who did get shot and did survive?’, not knowing that even though [gun violence] did not directly hit me with a bullet, it still hit me in the heart.”