Guest Op-ed: Not the “right kind” of rape victim

By Editorial Staff

Oct. 31, 2014

By Kimberly Weeks

In the early morning hours of May 12, 2006, a stranger broke in to my college area apartment, held me in my own bedroom, and raped me. For two hours, I was held captive in my own home thinking that this was how I was going to die. Somehow, I managed to survive that attack, but my life would be forever changed.

My name is Kimberly Weeks, and contrary to some people’s beliefs, I am indeed a real person with a real story to tell. Discussing my rape amidst a culture of violence and victim-blaming has been no easy task, let me assure you. I have received harsh criticisms over the years, but nothing about my experience of sexual violence has changed. There are still times I awake in the middle of the night with my heart pounding in my chest at the slightest sound. To me, the bump in the night is not a fear of the unknown—it is a fear of reality.

My nightmares have a name—a face—a memory.

Those who know my story and my long journey moving forward since the worst day of my life understood completely when I chose to receive training and pursue my concealed carry permit. I wanted to be the utmost law abiding citizen I could be, while still exercising the right to protect myself and my family as I see fit. Furthermore, when I chose to recount those horrific morning hours in front of Colorado’s elected officials last year, and pleading with Governor Hickenlooper to take into consideration what he would be doing to myself and other crime victims if he was to strip our right to choose how best to defend ourselves, I was outright ignored. He told me loud and clear that he knew better than I did what was best for myself and my family.

Becoming an advocate for second amendment rights was not something I chose, but instead was thrust upon me in a moment of Colorado’s top politician’s weakness. The state I grew up in was at the center of a national stage—a trial run for the paternalistic east coast politicians like Michael Bloomberg to see just how much (and who) their money could buy. Their elitist and hypocritical mentality is permeating our country and legislating me into being a victim once again.

Very recently, I’ve been accused of fear mongering and waging a war on women in an election season where ads about a fabricated birth control apocalypse and condom shortages are main stream. But my real-life experience is not a gimmick or a strategy, it is just a truth. I could easily be your daughter, your sister, your wife, or your mother. This makes many people uneasy; to have to imagine their loved ones in my shoes. I’m not asking you to go out and buy a gun if that’s not your choice; I know it wasn’t always mine. All I ask is that you not infringe upon my rights to do so.

Join me on November 4th in making Governor Hickenlooper listen. Support a crime victim’s right to choose their best means of self-defense. Our names may not be on your ballots, but our rights certainly are.