In my case, it started as verbal abuse. I’d known my partner for 20 years and he was a good person. He started changing in 2015. After his mum died, he bought several guns including a machete and a shotgun. He became more combative, not only with me but with others and through his social media. I couldn’t do anything right.
One evening in early November it turned physical. We were having a conversation and at some point it escalated and I asked him to leave. I walked over to the door, opened it and said we could have the conversation another day. He grabbed me by the hood of my sweatshirt, threw me out my door and got on top of me and started choking me. I managed to yell for our oldest son and he got off of me and left. He shot me and said 'look what you made me do'!
We’d broken up, but we were starting to work things out again, when one morning we had a disagreement. I was in the bathtub, when he came in and shot me. I can only remember the last two gunshots. I look up at him and he says “‘Look what you made me do Angie”, ‘You made me shoot you’!
He returned with my cell phone and I told him to dial 911. I felt as though I was dying. My legs felt prickly. I didn’t realize he’d shot me in the back and I was already paralyzed. I spent 3 weeks in hospital. During that time around 400 people came to visit me. That’s when I realized I had a message I wanted to share.
Since then, I’ve been doing a lot of public speaking – not just about gun violence and domestic violence, but about gun control and mental health. If people are willing to listen, I want to talk about the things that matter.
Let’s not just point people in the right direction, let’s walk with them.