A man shocked users online after revealing he forgives his girlfriend for pointing a gun at him during a heated argument.
The original poster (OP), or u/timelapsethrowaway, posted about the situation in Reddit’s “True Off My Chest” forum where it received more than 10,500 upvotes and 4,600 comments, many mentioning the importance of firearm safety.
Domestic Violence by the Numbers
The Centers for Disease Control reported nearly one in 10 American men have experienced some form of domestic violence or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
The numbers more than double when it comes to femicide—the intentional killing of women or girls—with the CDC reporting about one in four women in the United States have experienced some form of domestic violence or stalking.
In the post titled “my girlfriend pointed a firearm at me during an argument and I can’t stop thinking about it,” the OP said he’s been with his girlfriend for about four years and that they’ve never experienced a violent argument.
“That’s probably why I was so shocked when she did it,” the post read. “I’ve been having trouble sleeping and whenever I see her, I basically freeze up. She has apologized and I told her I forgive her of which I do, I really love her but I don’t know, maybe I’m just overthinking.”
The OP also questioned if “next time” she didn’t hesitate with the gun. He said that he was seeking advice on Reddit because if he told his mother, she would tell him to break up with her, adding that he “can’t think straight.”
‘A Rough Patch’
The OP said he doesn’t plan on leaving his girlfriend, saying she’s a “really beautiful soul” who has helped him overcome many traumatic experiences.
“She helped me heal. She’s literally my source of happiness,” the post read. “I should have started off by saying this, maybe it would change your opinion.”
He said he thought this was “just a rough patch that most people go through,” and that he isn’t “really experienced” because this is his first relationship.
In an update to the post, the OP said his girlfriend came across the Reddit post and asked if it was him. He said he was planning on going to see her to “work things out.”
“I’m not giving up on her just yet,” the post read.
More than 4,600 users commented on the post, many telling him to leave his girlfriend and calling her “abusive.”
“Remember when you’re playing around, check the chamber and if you’re not about to shoot, keep your finger on the side,” one user commented. “Or just don’t point it at people. That’s the first golden rule in gun safety and recruits will get body tackled if they break this rule. Even if the gun is unloaded or without a mag.”
“My dad taught me to never point a gun at something or someone you don’t intend to kill,” another user wrote. “It is made for killing, not threats or intimidation.”
“Too many people are killed by their partners and in most cases the signs were there before they were killed,” another user wrote. “Op, I am a woman and have to say RUN. Your life is in your hands.”
“Guy here, also a survivor of abuse,” another commented. “What would you think about anything I said if the genders were reversed, and the abuser was a dude waving a pistol around at his girlfriend? Run. Don’t walk.”
“I’ve read almost all your replies OP and I can’t see how you are so blinded by your love for her. Literally any stage of a relationship, 2 months dating, 5 years, or married recently or ten years, the minute a gun is pointed at you for an argument you should get the hell out.”
According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, a global nonprofit organization working to protect children from injuries, an estimated one-third of American households with children ages 17 and under have a firearm in the home.
In addition to providing necessary precautions when young children are in the home, it is also important to understand the link between access to firearms and domestic violence deaths.
It is estimated that half of all domestic violence homicides are committed with firearms, The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence reported.
Abusers often use guns as a means of coercing, threatening, or terrorizing a victim even without the weapon being discharged.
“Abusers’ previous threats with a weapon and threats to kill their partners are both predictors of intimate partner homicide,” EFSGV said.
Newsweek reached out to u/timelapsethrowaway for comment.
Other individuals seeking advice on Reddit also found their posts went viral, many receiving support for standing up to their problematic partners.
One woman was praised online for leaving her fiancé stranded at the mall after he threw a “tantrum.” Another woman was backed for leaving her boyfriend at the Grand Canyon, and another was praised for dumping her boyfriend of nine years because of his kids.
Anyone seeking help should call The National Domestic Violence Hotline, a free and confidential hotline available 24/7 that can be reached on 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224. The Hotline also provides information on local resources. For more information visit thehotline.org