Since 2009 I have been a keynote speaker on the subject of rape and sexual assault with experience speaking to groups ranging from victims advocate trainings and Take Back the Night events on college and university campuses across the country. Additional speaking engagements include University of Pennsylvania’s Victimology course each semester for 3 years and a Workshop presenter at the 41st NOVA Conference.
I am a date rape survivor who has successfully completed counseling and seen my attacker through two trials resulting in convictions for sexual assault and rape. My attacker drugged and raped me on our first and only date after meeting through Match.com. As a victim I experienced the full range of our law enforcement process and criminal justice system resulting in a Life sentence for my attacker. Throughout that time period I received trauma counseling for sexual assault/rape victims and made it to the other side healthier and stronger.
My first speech was encouraged by my counselor and given at a Take Back the Night event. I continued to pursue speaking because it helped me further in the healing process and realized it was my way of giving back. I then decided I wanted to continue speaking out building awareness for the subject.
I am an advocate of date rape and sexual assault victims who can’t speak for themselves including participating in the 2014 & 2015 Lace Up for RAINN 5K.
I have been interviewed for and appeared in an ABC News 20/20 special, Discovery ID’s Very Bad Men documentary series and the E! True Hollywood Story titled Social Media Nightmares. Each series profiled my attacker, his victims, the subsequent police investigations and trials. I have been on several podcasts including Paul Gilmartin’s Mental Illness Happy Hour, Jay Coulter’s Conquer Worry, Blindsided by Jeannette Rizzi and Rosie Tran’s Out of the Box each telling my story as a survivor and speaking out against sexual assault.
Follow her on twitter @JoAnnSpeaksOut