The hardest about leaving the domestic violence situation was rebuilding myself. When I was impacted by gun violence, it broke me down. I had to build myself back up to know that guns are there to protect you.
My glasses share a part of my story because I wore them the majority of my 10 year [relationship]. When I didn't want anybody to look at my eyes, because I felt that they could see my pain, I wore these sunglasses.
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, when the nightmares and the sleepwalking started to occur, when low self-esteem was visible.
I've never had anyone say that gun violence doesn't affect someone because they weren't shot. However… you can tell by the way they look at you that they're like, ‘Why are you standing here?’ not knowing that even though [gun violence] did not hit me with a bullet, it still hit me in the heart.