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14,536
Supporters

Recently, lawmakers in thirteen states have introduced bills to overturn bans on guns on college campuses. They claim arming students is the key to curbing the epidemic of rape on campus.

As a survivor, I know the opposite to be true. The rationale behind these bills rests on the myth that most people are raped by strangers; however the vast majority of survivors of sexual assault, including myself, know their rapist. In fact, the presence of guns is proven to exacerbate violence against victims, not prevent it.

If my rapist had a gun at school, I have no doubt I would be dead. That’s why I started this petition asking legislators in these states not to allow guns on campuses and put survivors like me in even more danger.

I was a freshman at the University of North Carolina when my boyfriend, a fellow student, became violently abusive. He started coming to my dorm room at all hours and flooding my phone with constant emotionally abusive and threatening messages. He regularly raped me, but, for a long time, I was too scared and confused to tell anyone.

One night he cornered me in an empty room, blocked my way and screaming, threatened to beat me, making me fear for my life. I was terrified but, even in that moment, I wouldn’t have shot my boyfriend. Like many victims of abuse, I thought I loved him and that, against all odds, he would change – as he had continually promised to. If he’d had a gun that night, I’m sure he would have used it.

I eventually got the courage to leave my boyfriend and report him to campus authorities. But even after he admitted to raping me, his only punishment was a reprimand on his record. I still have to go to school with my rapist and the idea of him having a sanctioned weapon on campus makes me fear for my life.

Legislators have an important role to play in addressing rape on college campuses, but it’s imperative they take their lead from the chorus of survivors speaking out about what will actually make us safer. Allowing weapons on campus is not the answer. It will only give abusers and rapists one more tool to use to commit violence against people like me.

Please sign my petition to join me and other survivors of campus sexual assault and dating violence in asking legislators not to lift the ban on guns on college campuses.


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