UF STUDENTS RAISE MONEY FOR RAPE VICTIM
Kristen Zemina is among many young women who attended a sexual assault seminar at UF. But she knows one young woman who could not attend.
And it happened to someone very special to her. Kristen's friend-- who was planning to attend UF this fall-- was brutally attacked and raped outside of a library near Tampa in the spring. She was returning books when investigators say she was assaulted by a 16-year-old who is now in jail with no bond.
"It was so surreal. I didn't cry for several hours. It was like I couldn't believe it had actually happened," Zemina said.
Because of her severe injuries, she lost her sight and cannot walk or talk...and her injuries require extensive rehabilitation. But medicaid announced they will no longer cover her $30,000 a month rehab bill, leaving the victim's family wondering how they're going to pay for their daughter's care.
So members of many UF student organizations stepped in to help.
"She was supposed to be a part of what we're a part of, the football games, the classes that we go to, the gator nation... And she's not here with us," Taylor Traviesa, member of the student government, said.
But the event wasn't only for raising money... it was also to raise awareness. UFPD officers were there to discuss defense strategies.
"When we focus on talking about personal safety, it's not age specific. It's basically just to keep yourself accountable," Officer Nicole Mallo, UFPD, said.
For Kristen, she says she feels honored so many people would come out to help someone they didn't even know. And she knows her friend would feel they same
If you'd like to donate, you can go to any Suntrust Bank and tell them you're contributing to the Bloomingdale Regional Library Victim's Fund.
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