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Liz Seccuro

Rape Survivor, Victims' Advocate, Author
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Biography

As a sought after Keynote Speaker on the extremely visible issues of Gender & Domestic Violence today, Liz Seccuro brings a fresh perspective to this uncomfortable subject matter. Audiences will understand that getting past the anger and hysteria surrounding this issue is the only way to ignite a future of change. With the perspective of a survivor herself – this engaging presentation is one of not only understanding how and why incidents continue to occur, but also how to navigate a system that struggles to recognize its existence and massive impact. Delivered with hope, thoughtfulness and education, Seccuro enlightens audiences to positive change and inspires them to be a part of it.

After being gang raped in a fraternity house on the University of Virginia campus in 1984, she has spent her adult life searching for meaning in the tragic event — ultimately finding solace in health, wellness, community and the act of helping others navigate their own struggles with violence and sexual assault.

A bestselling author, frequent media commentator, journalist, and keynote speaker appealing to a broad audience, she talks about what we have achieved in terms of victims' rights, and how we can do better — through stronger legislation, campus accountability, and developing empathy and compassion in our families, institutions and culture at large.

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Topics

Keeping Our Campuses Safe For One & All

Using her own story and subsequent two-decade struggle to affect changes in law enforcement and campus policy regarding gender violence, rape survivor Liz Seccuro provides practical information for college students and administrators on rape, sexual harassment, dating violence, and stalking and their repercussions in America right now. Translating complex legalese into easy to comprehend terms, Seccuro focuses on the positive changes that have happened in the years since her own tragedy, including the passing of Title IX, the comprehensive federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program, the Clery Act, a federal statute requiring colleges and universities to share information about campus crimes, and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act, a comprehensive program providing solutions to the violence women face on today's college campuses. Designed as a primer for victims' rights as well as a constantly evolving update on the myriad changes affecting campus life in America today, this presentation features vital, up-to-the-minute information for students, parents and administrators alike.

Cultivating Empathy in the Corporate Environment

In this timely and inspirational presentation centering on empathy, rape and domestic violence survivor Liz Seccuro talks about gender violence and how it affects the way we treat our employees, colleagues and clients in the workplace — and how businesses can square their corporate message on gender violence with their overall brand message. Using her own story — surviving a devastating gang rape in a University of Virginia fraternity house when she was only 17 — and subsequent rehabilitation as a starting point, she delves into workplace issues including sexual harassment, victims' rights advocacy and how caring about gender violence can serve as a powerful aspect of a company's brand strategy. In this presentation, Liz talks about how corporate America can lead with transparency and accountability, as she talks about the devastating consequences for employers, employees and shareholders who have attempted to operate in the grey areas. With levity and enthusiasm, Liz shows companies and corporations of all sizes and cultures how they can set an example by combining healthy profits and growth with basic caring for our fellow man.

Playing the Game the Right Way So Nobody Gets Hurt: Gender Violence & Team Sports

As a huge sports fan, rape survivor Liz Seccuro found herself questioning her loyalty to team sports while composing an editorial for Glamour magazine about the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal — one of many recent incidents that has diminished the power and value of the NFL brand and televised team sports in general. In this presentation targeted to professional athletes, coaches and sports teams, clubs and organizations, Seccuro understands and examines, some of the key issues contributing to these scandals, delving into subjects like racism, steroid abuse, homophobia and internalized pressure. Hiring a clinician to talk about statistics isn't enough, she insists — these men need to hear from a victim who has survived sexual assault and domestic violence so that the overwhelmingly male world of team sports can see a mother, sister or wife behind the growing number of assaults at the hands of professional athletes and coaches. Through the telling of her own emotional story — and hard-won rehabilitation and recovery — Seccuro delves to the heart of this high-stakes American story of masculinity intersecting with violence, in the hope of preventing future scandals from surfacing. She does this all in the true spirit of sportsmanship; by using a level playing field and with passion and commitment.

Hey Bro: How the Internet & Reflections of Masculinity Impacts Campus Violence

In this presentation, fraternity house gang rape survivor and victims' advocate Liz Seccuro examines Internet culture and its impact on young males in America navigating campus life and the new technology shaping us — from apps and dating sites like Tinder to the Internet forums where rape fantasies and the objectification of women flourish unchecked. Delving into a wide range of pop culture phenomena — from Daniel Tosh and YikYak to Amy Schumer, Dane Cook and Tucker Max, Seccuro cuts to the heart of why so-called “bro culture” has resulted in so much campus violence, particularly at the hands of young men who have built large followings on the Internet with their often sexist and misogynistic worldviews. This is a presentation that is enjoyed equally by men, women, and campus administration.

Lifestyle, Wellness & Joy: Building a New You After a Personal Tragedy

In the years following her harrowing experience at age 17, in which she was gang-raped in a fraternity house at the University of Virginia, victim's advocate Liz Seccuro went to every bad place someone in her position could go — from alcoholism and bulimia to promiscuity and cutting. But over time, she learned how to find solace by cultivating three principal elements that helped her reclaim her sense of self: lifestyle, wellness and joy. In this inspirational presentation centering on rebuilding a life after something terrible has occurred, Seccuro employs elements from her own tragedy and lengthy healing process to help others rise above adversity. She advocates building bridges, staying healthy and learning to love oneself, regardless of how far one has fallen into the abyss. Grieving is universal, she insists — and part of the healing process — but happiness doesn't come overnight. Hard work is required, combined with a willingness to keep learning from our mistakes, even when the tragedies that have shaped us are years in the past. Join her for this joyous celebration of life and love.

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