Laura L. Dunn: It's time for the law to protect victims of gender violence
Laura L. Dunn - Victims' rights attorney
TED Fellow Laura L. Dunn advocates for survivors of campus sexual violence through effective legal assistance, policy advocacy, and institutional training. Full bio
there is growing social awareness
are far too common occurrences
without any accountability.
movement is upon us,
are speaking out to demand change.
sexual assault on campus.
Congress reform the military,
Hollywood stars to janitorial staff
in the workplace.
can create lasting legal change.
by institution, fighting for reform,
denies fundamental protections
such as sexual assault,
of the Constitution,
from abusing its citizens,
governments to intervene
calls the police from her home,
to the state's protection.
without any legal remedy
all citizens collectively,
directly contradicts international law,
gender violence by private parties
to discriminate systemically
on "Law & Order: SVU,"
of gender violence.
where law enforcement has chosen to act,
during the resulting criminal process.
in a criminal case.
the interests of a victim.
the interests of the state.
to dismiss criminal charges,
a victim's voice from the process,
the interests of all citizens collectively
have found protections
of sex discrimination,
that accept federal funding.
sex discrimination within admissions,
to intervene and address gender violence
or campus visitors commit sexual assault
is that through Title IX,
are protected against gender violence
does not exist under the law.
of gender violence seriously,
victims equitable rights
their own interests during proceedings,
educational institutions to do so.
historically swept gender violence
system does today.
protects some victims,
institution by institution,
in the military, in the workplace,
gender equality under the law,
require states to intervene
of sex discrimination.
did not pass in the 1970s,
three states of doing so.
has ratified the amendment,
in different political times.
to the Me Too movement,
political will of the people
the prospect of justice
to become the norm after gender violence.
the Equal Rights Amendment,
can become a system of justice,
About the speaker:Laura L. Dunn - Victims' rights attorney
TED Fellow Laura L. Dunn advocates for survivors of campus sexual violence through effective legal assistance, policy advocacy, and institutional training.
Why you should listen
Laura L. Dunn, Esq., advances victims' rights through legislative and policy efforts, as well as direct representation of survivors in campus, criminal and civil systems. As a nationally-recognized victim-turned-victims’ rights attorney and social entrepreneur, her work has been featured by National Public Radio, PEOPLE Magazine, Forbes, the National Law Journal, the New York Times and many more .
While a law student, Dunn contributed to the 2011 and 2014 Title IX guidance issued by the US Department of Education. She also worked with Congress to pass the 2013 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and its federal regulations. For this advocacy, Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy have publicly recognized Dunn. Upon graduation from Maryland Law, she founded the survivor-led and DC-based legal organization, SurvJustice. It is still the only national nonprofit representing victims of campus sexual violence in hearings across the country and is currently the lead plaintiff in a pending federal lawsuit against the Trump administration over Title IX.
As an attorney, Dunn is now a published legal scholar, an adjunct law professor, a member of the American Bar Association's Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence and its Criminal Justice Section's Task Force on College Due Process, a liaison to the American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code on Sexual Assault and its Student Sexual Misconduct Project, an accomplished litigator who helped win the first-ever recognition of a federal victim-advocate privilege in court and an expert legal consultant on various campus sexual assault lawsuits.
For her work, Dunn has received a 2015 Echoing Green Global Fellowship, the 2016 Benjamin Cardin Public Service Award, the 2017 Department of Justice’s Special Courage Award and a 2018 TED Fellowship, along with other honors and recognitions.
Laura L. Dunn | Speaker | TED.com