For more information, please contact:
Bridget Gaudette, VP of Outreach: 404.669.6727 E-mail
Mary Ellen Sikes, VP of Operations: 404.669.6727 E-mail

Aurora Shooting Survivor Grants Interview to Secular Woman

Atlanta, Georgia – August 7, 2012. In her first interview with a secular identity organization, Carli R., a survivor of the July shooting that claimed a dozen lives in Colorado, related her experiences to Secular Woman and offered encouragement to other atheist women: "[B]e proud of who you are. Self respect is something that has been a very important part of my own personal growth and development, as well as overcoming many big obstacles …  Stand your ground, be assertive, treat others as you would want to be treated, and be gracious."

Carli, 22, was one of seventy wounded when James Eagan Holmes opened fire in a movie theater screening of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20. She attributed her survival to the "immediate rush of adrenaline" that propelled her out of the building when she smelled tear gas and to the skills and attention of the medical professionals who treated her twenty gunshot wounds. Caring, competent doctors, nurses, and emergency medical staff made prayer unnecessary, Carli told Secular Woman, but blogging after the incident that no higher power had saved her, she received a backlash of vitriol from readers offended by her non-religious interpretation of events. The Secular Woman interview recounted Carli's reaction to not just the onslaught of criticism but also the many gestures of support that followed.

"Carli's courage and goodwill shine through whether she is reflecting on a terrifying experience, crediting humans over gods, or dealing with hate mail," said Secular Woman Vice President of Operations Mary Ellen Sikes. "We couldn't be more delighted or honored to welcome Carli into the Secular Woman community."

Secular Woman's full interview with Carli R. is online here and you'll find her survival story here


Secular Woman is an educational non-profit organization whose mission is to amplify the voice, presence, and influence of non-religious women. For more information about Secular Woman visit:

Photo by Mark Bunce

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