When you ban guns, you don’t stop the criminals from arming themselves, you stop people like Kimberly Weeks from arming themselves.
I was sleeping in my college-area apartment when a stranger broke in through a closed window. He snuck into my bedroom. I awoke to a man covering my face with a shirt and didn’t stop for the next two hours as he raped me. I had no choice. I didn’t scream, I didn’t cry, I just prepared for this man to kill me.
During the unbearable hours of my attack, I was painfully aware of what was happening. I wish I could have shut down – but I didn’t. I started doing whatever I could do to survive. I was fighting for my life.
During the assault, I lied and told my attacker I had herpes, which did not nothing to deter him. I told him I was claustrophobic, hoping he would move the shirt just enough so I could identify him later – if I survived. I asked to use the restroom saying I might wet myself, but he repeatedly denied my requests.
I was doing everything I could to escape – doing everything I could to stop the horrific violence that was being forced upon me. I did everything I could – and I prayed it would be enough.
Time was running out, so despite the pain, anger, and fear that was coursing through my body, I tried one more thing: I started talking and kept him engaged in conversation for the next hour as I watched the sun rise through my bedroom window.
Others that could help were so close, yet so very far away. No one else knew what was happening to me. It was lonely and terrifying.
I convinced my rapist that I would not report his actions, that I was too embarrassed, and I even told him that I forgave him. I told him everyone makes mistakes. When he asked if he could get a drink of water from my kitchen, I directed him to the wrong cabinet, hoping he would leave fingerprints behind. When he left to get a drink, I was alone in my bedroom. I frantically glanced around and saw my cell phone, a knife, a hammer, and other various tools sitting on my bookcase headboard from unpacking the night before. I knew I could not physically overpower him with any of those objects if he came back.
After what felt like an eternity, I saw something that I never thought I’d live to see – he walked out the front door.
I had survived.
I immediately called 9-1-1 multiple times over a 16 minute period. The dispatcher had a hard time telling officers where to respond because my call would drop repeatedly. They did everything they could to get to me quickly, but it was not quick enough. He had already raped me and was gone.
I will never know if I would have been able to stop my rape if I had owned a firearm. I can tell you that any fear I had of guns evaporated as soon as I got a second chance at living my life. Had I been armed, I very well could have changed my circumstances and possibly prevented another attack on myself or the next victim.
…In front of the Senate State Affairs Committee on Monday, victims and law enforcement alike plead with the legislators not to pass HB 13-1226 – a measure that will ban concealed carry on college campuses. Monday evening, I realized how quickly, and how thoughtlessly, a small group of legislators put prior victim rights groups’ and legislators’ work at risk.
Victims of sexual assault in Colorado were silenced by the committee’s vote, but that’s not all. Now, we are now one step closer to being disarmed on our college campuses – on and near the very places we were sexually assaulted.
Every election season, we see Democratic candidates tout victims and women as a priority. But what happens after the election? Are we still significant?
….I plead with them not to strip me of my rights to carry the weapon I am licensed to carry on my college campus. The three Democratic Senators chose to ignore my plea. The very people that treated me like a priority when they needed my vote, voted against me when I needed theirs.
I ask – no, I beg – each Colorado Senator to stop ignoring the voices of citizens like me. Don’t re-victimize me with your legislation.
Please, Colorado, don’t disarm me with your vote.
How do you in good conscience say to a woman who has been in that situation that you want to make it illegal for her to have the capacity to defend herself from another attack? It’s just wrong and shameful to vote to put a woman like Kimberly Weeks at the mercy of a rapist.