An Israeli woman has revealed how her harrowing ordeals of rape has led her to become a champion for female gun rights.
Orin Julie, 26, who is known as ‘The Queen Of Guns’ regularly promotes female empowerment while wielding giant weapons.
She hopes that her message will be heard by local government officials, potentially allowing more women in the country to legally carry a gun for protection.
Ms Julie, who runs an online gun accessory shop, said she was inspired to do so after her devastating experiences with rape – having first been sexually abused as a child.
Orin Julie became an advocate for female gun rights after her devastating experiences with rape twice as a child, aged eight and 15. The harrowing ordeals affected her confidence as she struggled with school
‘I’ve been a rape victim twice in my life, the first time was at the age of eight; I was sexually abused by an older man,’ she said.
‘It affected me so much that I lost all my confidence and became scared of everything.
‘I turned into a really quiet child with few friends and I was always suspicious of adults, I had no trust in them.’
Ms Julie became the victim of rape again when she was 15, reportedly at the hands of an 18-year-old man.
She said: ‘After that happened, I did everything I could to avoid him.
Ms Julie admitted she ‘sheltered away from the realities of the world’ when she was a child. Joining the Israeli Defense Forces transformed her personality as she became a ‘defender and protector’.
‘I became depressed and stayed at home, I struggled with school, it affected every part of my life.’
Ms Julie didn’t report the crime to the police and it took many years for her to talk to friends and family about her experience.
She joined the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at 18 – serving for three years as a combat soldier in the Search and Rescue unit.
She learned how to shoot a gun, as well as to how to protect herself undergoing Krav Maga training – a self-defence fighting regime.
‘As a child, I was very weak, not confident, and sheltered away from realities of the world, didn’t know how to do anything by myself,’ she admitted.
Ms Julie ‘fell in love’ with weapons and self defence and said she felt ’empowered’ while serving in the military. She now uses her social media platforms to raise awareness of how women can defend themselves
‘I needed someone strong to help me to protect myself and when I joined the IDF, I became that person.
‘I fell in love with tactical training, weapons and self-defence, and I felt empowered for the first time.
‘I became my own defender, protector, I stood up for myself, I found my voice and I’m now more outspoken.’
After leaving the IDF, the 26-year-old continued to take self defence classes and used her social media platforms to raise awareness of how women can learn to defend themselves.
However, the Israeli government has very strict rules regarding gun ownership.
Gun laws in Israel (flag pictured) are very strict as only veterans of the country’s Defense Force infantry units are eligible for gun permits, along with police officers who have received the equivalent training. But, Ms Julie hopes women will be eligible for permits in the future amid increasing rates of violence during the Covid lockdown
Ms Julie claims women have to prove their military capabilities further than their male counterparts. She explained that she was able to get a gun because she served as a combat soldier before becoming a shooting instructor
Currently, veterans of the IDF’s infantry units are eligible for gun permits, along with police officers who have received the equivalent training.
Ms Julie claims that the process of getting a gun is much easier for men who have served as combat soldiers and did basic training – while women who have almost the same combat experience have to go further to prove their capabilities.
‘It’s much easier for men who served as combat soldiers to get a gun,’ she said.
‘For myself, I was able to get one because I served three years as a combat soldier and then became a shooting instructor, but it was a long and difficult process.
‘First we have to go through a range of officers courses, then wait for one year and just then we can do a shooting instructors course but only if we work in a shooting range.’
She wants more women in Israel to protect themselves amid increasing rates of violence in the country during the coronavirus lockdown.
‘My country is also facing many terror attacks and women should be able to defend themselves,’ she said.
‘When I walk out of my home with a gun, I feel safe and protected and I want other women to feel the same way, to feel empowered and confident and to be able to stand up for themselves.’
The Queen Of Guns has undergone therapy, which she says has helped massively in coming to terms with her own sexual abuse.
She is also now in a relationship with a man, who she says treats her like an equal.
‘It took me a lot of time to commit to someone after what I went through but he’s amazing and I couldn’t be happier,’ she said.
The ‘Queen of Guns’ says she feels ‘safe and protected’ when she leaves her home armed. She wants women to be able to feel confident and stand up for themselves