Three days after a Nova Scotia man shot and killed his wife, and then turned the gun on himself, a woman who almost found herself in the same situation is sharing her story.

Halifax resident Dale Gibbons says she knows all about domestic violence.

Her life changed dramatically about three years ago when her partner fell and hurt his back. Gibbons says he quickly became addicted to painkillers as a result of the injury, and then became hooked on cocaine.

“Then he started becoming violent, punching the wall next to my face, or not letting me have a closed door,” she explains.

Eventually, Gibbons took their son and moved out of the home. At one point she even fled the province, but then she received a call that prompted her to check in on her partner.

“He had taken an overdose,” she says. “He did look at me, and he said ‘you know, I considered murder-suicide.’ And I knew he meant it.”

Weeks later, her partner overdosed again, this time taking his own life.

A similar incident in Lake Echo on the weekend now has Gibbons speaking out about the signs of domestic violence.

“It is very hard to see and it’s very easy to deny,” she says.

Police responded to a 911 call of shots fired at a home on Ponderosa Drive shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday.

When they arrived at the home, they found a 47-year-old woman who had been shot. She died shortly after and the body of a 50-year-old man was also found in the home.

Police say the man shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself and neighbours say he had a problem with alcohol and that the couple had a rocky relationship.

“I think that sometimes we can be too polite and too afraid of butting into someone’s business, but when you think of life, it’s better to be ‘oh, I’m sorry I stepped on your toes’ than ‘oh, I’m sorry I’m passing you a sympathy card,” says Gibbons.

She also says it’s important for women who think they may be dealing with domestic violence to take it seriously.

“And not denying, not saying to yourself ‘it’s not really that bad, you know. It’s OK. It’ll be better tomorrow.”

Gibbons also says it’s important to remove yourself from the situation, because things likely won’t get better.

“Domestic violence is very rampant, sad to say, and it affects all people, all households,” she says. “It doesn’t matter what race, what nationality, what religion. It doesn’t matter.”

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell