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"Unsafe Time in NC" – Sexual Assault Survivor on HB 2 Impact

Survivors of sexual assault are concerned over the impact of HB2 on public safety. (Jlhopgood/
Survivors of sexual assault are concerned over the impact of HB2 on public safety. (Jlhopgood/
April 18, 2016

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Survivors of sexual assault are speaking out on the potential impact of the controversial House Bill 2 legislation. Andrea Pino, a former student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, was raped by a fellow student in 2012.

She feels the legislation places more people at risk of assault.

Governor Pat McCrory's executive order last week restored the right to sue for discrimination, but the law still prevents transgender people from using the bathroom of the gender they identify with and prevents cities from creating non-discrimination ordinances.

Pino explains her issue with HB 2.

"North Carolina is stepping farther and farther behind when it comes to any type of issues around equality," she says. "It's a very unsafe time right now in North Carolina. It's very unfortunate that the current government is using their bigotry in its disguise as a way to prevent violence."

Pino is the co-author of "We Believe You," a book chronicling the issue of sexual assault on college campuses.

She was also featured in the documentary "The Hunting Ground," which was shown at last year's Sundance Film Festival.

In 2013, she and others filed a complaint against UNC that resulted in a federal investigation.

According to the Association of American Universities, 23 percent of female college students said they experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact in college.

Nearly 11 percent said it resulted in penetration or oral sex.

"There are often these institutions within the institution, whether they're fraternities or athletic programs," says Pino. "There's power. There's power in these organizations, there's power in these individuals that run these organizations, and in many ways they're untouchable. They're oftentimes see as being more valuable to the organization than an everyday student that might have been assaulted."

Nationwide, one out of every six American women have been the victim of attempted or completed rape.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC