Kelly Herron, 36, became an inspiration to many when she shared on Instagram how she repelled an assailant who had hidden inside a women’s bathroom stall.
“Not today, motherf**cker,” she told him, all the while “clawing his face, punching back, and desperately trying to escape his grip — never giving up.”
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My biggest running nightmare became reality- 4 miles into my long run Sunday afternoon, I stopped to use the restroom and was assaulted by a man hiding in a stall (that is my GPS in red lines). 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. I was able to lock him in the bathroom until police arrived. Thankfully I just took a self-defense class offered at my work and used all of it. My face is stitched, my body is bruised, but my spirit is intact. #NTMF #fightingchanceseattle #ballard #runnersafety #marathontraining #womensselfdefense #myballard #fightlikeagirl #fightback #nottodaymotherfucker #youcantbreakme #instarunners #garmin #garminvivosmarthr
Despite suffering serious bruising and cuts to her face, Harron beat the man into submission and kept him locked him in a bathroom stall until police could come to arrest him.
In what appears to have been a cynical attempt at fueling fear and distrust of transgender people, a group in Washington state called Just Want Privacy sent supporters an email featuring Herron’s photo, writing that “each week yields new stories of deviant men who found ways to access female’s vulnerable spaces in order to exploit them.” In the missive, the group advocated for the repeal of a law that allowed transgender women to use women’s bathrooms, referring to transgender women as “men” and claiming that transgender-rights laws enable such attacks — all without citing any actual incidents involving transgender people or nondiscrimination laws.
“I was more pissed off about that than I was about the incident itself,” Herron told BuzzFeed, explaining that she in fact supports transgender rights and that the group had used her photo without her permission.
“They’re exploiting me. It’s a complete violation of the trauma that I endured and am recovering from in the name of discriminating against transgender people.”
On Thursday, Herron emailed Washington Won’t Discriminate, a pro-transgender rights group, saying that she wanted to help fight back against the anti-transgender bill being pushed by Just Want Privacy.
“To the people behind I-1552, I say, ‘Not today, motherf*ckers,’” she wrote, reprising the line she used against her attacker. “I refuse to allow anyone to use me and my horrific sexual assault to cause harm and discrimination to others. It’s already illegal to enter a restroom or locker room to harm someone, period. That’s why when I-1552’s backers claim they want to protect women and children from attack, I’m not fooled.”
Read the full story at BuzzFeed.