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Laura Dunn

2017 Special Courage Award | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards
Watch the tribute video

Laura Dunn | Special Courage Award
Washington, DC

Laura Dunn, a campus sexual assault survivor, formed SurvJustice in 2010. Originally a student group, SurvJustice has since grown to be the only national nonprofit organization providing legal representation to victims in campus disciplinary hearings across the country. SurvJustice has not only established itself as a legal service provider, receiving over 550 requests for assistance from survivors across all 50 states and 7 countries, but it has also secured key federal rights for campus sexual assault survivors through legislation and regulations. 

Ms. Dunn discussed efforts to address campus sexual assault with Former Vice President Joe Biden, and SurvJustice is listed as a national resource on notalone.gov, the White House Task Force to Protect Students Against Sexual Assault’s website. Ms. Dunn serves on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence and was invited to serve as a liaison for the American Law Institute’s Project on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct on Campus. 

SurvJustice played a critical role in drafting the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, which provides rights to victims of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking, and ensured that these provisions were included in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013. 

SurvJustice frequently receives requests for help with states’ and local communities’ policy development including the State University of New York’s prevention education and response policies that were adopted into the New York State Law “Enough is Enough.” SurvJustice also worked with student activists in Baltimore to file high profile Title IX and Clery Act complaints against Johns Hopkins University for failing to warn the campus community about sexual violence that occurred, and trained students about their rights. 

This work has been featured on the Canadian Broadcast Company to incite similar legislation in Canada. 

SurvJustice has partnered with the National Organization for Victim Assistance to develop its Campus Advocate Training Academy launched in January 2017 and the National Alliance of Victim Rights’ Attorneys and Advocates to provide trainings to campus advocates and victim rights’ attorneys alike on how to represent survivors in campus hearings. SurvJustice is also building a national network of advisors of that can support victims through institutional disciplinary hearings across the country.

2017 National Crime Victims' Service Awards Tribute Video

Watch this tribute video about Laura Dunn, 2017 recipient of the Special Courage Award.