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Ashley Cohen

I am a survivor of the mass shooting at Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech is my alma mater. I moved there as a child, so Blacksburg is also my home.

On April 16, 2007 I was working on campus and escaped from a neighboring building during the shooting.

There is no way to explain it, or really understand it, until it happens to you and your community.

I hope you never understand it.

32 lives were taken that day. Many more people were injured, physically and non-physically.

I have spent years living with trauma and PTSD unfolding itself inside my mind and body. The simplest things cause physical, mental and emotional reactions that I have limited control over, even to this day.

I joined Everytown to advocate for myself, my fellow Hokies, and for the long term support of all gun violence survivors.

I’m dedicated to taking back the power that this horrific day took from me. It has been a slow and painful process. Some days, I simply live for those 32 Hokies that cannot.

I keep going, honoring with action those taken by gun violence and the survivors left in the chaos.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.