Group apologizes for using assault victim's story to push bathroom bill

KING 5

SEATTLE -- A group backing I-I552 posted a public apology Tuesday to a woman who survived a sexual assault in a public restroom at Golden Gardens Park last week.

Kelly Herron said the Facebook group Just Want Privacy used her name and story to push the ballot initiative aimed at rolling back the state’s law that allows transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice.

“I refuse to allow anyone to use me and my horrific sexual assault to cause harm and discrimination to others,” said Herron in a release.

Herron’s story went viral last week after she posted about being attacked on her Instagram account.

 

A post shared by Kelly Herron (@run_kiwi_run) on

She said she stopped in a public bathroom at Golden Gardens during a run when she was assaulted by a man hiding in a stall.

“I fought for my life screaming (“Not today, M**F**er!”), clawing his face, punching back and desperately trying to escape his grip – never giving up,” she said in the post.

Herron was eventually able to lock her attacker inside the bathroom until police arrived.

The Just Want Privacy Facebook page shared Herron’s story Saturday.

“We cannot be naïve and normalized the presence of males in females’ vulnerable spaces #YesOn1552.”

Herron said her story shouldn’t be used to back I-I552.

“All of us, including transgender people, are concerned about safety in restrooms or any place where we’re isolated and alone. But the fact is I-1552 would not have done one thing to prevent the attack on me. It’s already illegal to enter a restroom or locker room to harm someone, period,” she said.

Herron demanded the Just Want Privacy page refund any money raised using her story and the page post a public retraction.

Just Want Privacy's original post about Herron's story was deleted and an apology was posted

"Since many of the volunteers that comprise this campaign are themselves survivors of sexual assault, the last thing we want to do is make anyone feel exploited," the group said in the post. "If our actions have inadvertently failed in this effort, we are sincerely sorry." 

Copyright 2017 KING


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