Laura Dunn’s “Activism Career” Is Making Life Worse For Actual Rape Victims

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In 2011, “rape survivor” Laura Dunn was Joe Biden’s honored guest at an event releasing the “Dear Colleague” letter, and as a result of this push to “help nation’s schools address sexual violence,” Dunn would use the accompanying publicity to kickstart her activism career:

Not only was she Biden’s honored guest at the April 4, 2011, event releasing the Dear Colleague letter, she would later serve on a White House Task Force on Sexual Assault and be recognized for her advocacy on the U.S. Senate floor. In April 2013, Dunn and Lombardi were guests on Diane Rehm show.

Dunn now runs SurvJustice, an advocacy group for rape survivors.

If you take a closer look at the Dunn case, and the work of Dunn herself, you’ll be left wondering not only how this woman rose to the position she is in today, but whether or not she is helping or hurting the cause of those she is “working” to defend.

The Daily Beast did an excellent recap of the whole case, but unfortunately, their article is not chronologically oriented, confusing the events regarding Dunn’s allegations.  Portions of this article and a Buzzfeed article (yes, I know, Buzzfeed) are reproduced below, to provide proper chronological sequencing:

On the evening of April 4, 2004, according to the NPR/CPI version of events, Dunn, then a freshman and member of the crew team at the University of Wisconsin, consumed so many raspberry vodkas at a crew party that the student-bartenders refused her more drinks. She left with two young men she trusted from her team. They planned to go to another party, but decided to make a quick stop at one of the men’s apartment. According to Dunn, once they arrived, her teammates raped her as she fell in and out of consciousness.

She also told the detective that in the months after the alleged rape that she went—twice—to one of the men’s residence, where they engaged in consensual “physical contact.”

On one of these occasions both of the alleged assailants were at the apartment and they all watched television together.

Fifteen months later, Dunn attended a philosophy class where the professor was discussing how rape is a weapon of war. The professor suddenly stopped the lecture, turned to the students, and told them she knew many of her students had been raped, and she assured them they could do something about it. A tearful Laura Dunn told NPR’s Joseph Shapiro what happened next. “The moment that lecture let out,” she said, “I walked across to the dean of students’ office and I reported that day.” She also reported the alleged rape to the campus police.

So, even after the alleged “rape” occurred, she had “sexual relations” with one of her attackers.  However, she only “decided” it was rape after hearing a (feminist) professor lecture on the topic. Go figure.

She didn’t just tell police after hearing this lecture, she told her parents:

Dunn’s parents are religious conservatives, members of an Evangelical Free church. Her parents demanded she leave UW–Madison and either transfer to a college of their choosing or become a religious missionary. They threatened to cut her off financially if she stayed at the university, said Dunn, who 11 years later became visibly frustrated as she recounted the conversation.

Instead of doing what her parents wanted, she returned to UW–Madison.

Yes; she voluntarily went back to attend a school with a rapist who had “attacked” her (the other had graduated by this point)… completely ignoring the wishes of her parents.  But did she have any more luck with the police?

When Dunn first spoke to the dean (15 months after the alleged rape), she said that “a portion of the sexual encounter was consensual.” (p.5) A few days later when she spoke to a campus police detective, Dunn said twice that she did not remember being raped by one of the men (the one still on campus). She found out about it only when the men told her what happened the next day (p.6).

“A portion” was consensual?  Did she try to get the men charged with “consensual rape” because she didn’t remember what she did?  Obviously, no one should be surprised to learn that both the police and university dropped the case:

Because she reported the assault nearly a year-and-a-half after the event, one of the men had already graduated. The other insisted the encounter had been consensual, and since there were no witnesses or evidence, both the police and the university dropped the case.

Take note, universities opt on the side of caution, so dropping the case is no light matter.  And a rape accusation, false or not, can lead to removal of the accused from the university, or worse. You’d think she would be content to go away, but no…..

Determined to fight an egregious injustice, she filed a Title IX sexual discrimination complaint with the Office for Civil Rights. Dunn accused the University of Wisconsin of multiple violations, including subjecting her to a hostile environment and failing to provide a “prompt and equitable resolution” of her case.

…with no luck from police or the already left-leaning University of Wisconsin administration, she resorted filing a Title IX sexual discrimination complaint at the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).  If you take a look at OCR’s mission statement, you’d see that it stacks its deck in the favor of SJWs, and against the exact demographic (white men) that Dunn was allegedly “raped” by.

But, it’s difficult to have much luck when you are telling a different story to the media and Civil Rights office than you are to police, not to mention hugging the person who allegedly raped you

According to Dunn, while the case was under investigation, she ran into the remaining attacker at a fraternity party, who frightened her with a violent outburst and a warning: “My parents are Harvard attorneys. You won’t win.”

The NPR/CPI team faulted the University of Wisconsin staff for dragging the case out for nine months—enough time for an “enraged encounter” (as related above) between the accuser and one of the accused men. According to the CPI team, when Dunn ran into the young man at a fraternity party, he stalked and threatened her. But Dunn told the police detective that she had initiated the encounter and when he walked away, she followed him into another room because she “knew he wanted to talk to her.” She also admitted she had hugged him. No mention of threats. (p. 7).

The young man’s version comports with the police report, but he adds that when Dunn approached him, he was alarmed, pulled away, and told her he was afraid she would fabricate more lies. When Dunn started to scream and cry, he fled. (p.8)

…so even the SJW left-leaning OCR ruled against her.

But in 2008, four years after the original incident, she received an 18-page letter (PDF) from the Department of Education with the verdict: “Based on its investigation, OCR determined that there is insufficient evidence to substantiate the allegations made in the complaint.”

You’d think that after having drunk sex with two men, claiming rape 15 months after the fact, and being progressively told “yeah, right” by police, her parents, the university itself, and the Office of Civil Rights, that this would finally just be a settled case of another false rape accusation.

But how can it be a settled case, when Obama himself is defending your ever-changing story?

Dunn doesn’t often get emotional, but she does when speaking about statements that President Obama and Vice President Biden made about sexual violence. At a White House event dedicated to combating campus rape in September 2014, Obama credited the survivors who raised hell to get the issue on the nation’s radar. “This is not your fight alone,” Obama said. “You are not alone, and we have your back.” At the same event Biden said, “Our culture still asks the wrong questions. … Never — get this straight — never is it appropriate for a woman to ask, ‘What did I do?’”

“I’m so in awe that the two most powerful men in our entire country were saying everything I wish I heard when I was suffering alone,” Dunn said through tears.

Notably, Dunn made sure to change her story again, before Obama and Biden spoke on her behalf:

When asked about her assault, Dunn changed her story yet again. The 15-month delay had become “about half a year.” Her sudden realization that she had been a raped no longer took place in a class with a feminist professor talking about rape as a weapon of war, but rather in an “amazing educational program on campus that talked about alcohol-facilitated sexual assault.”

What a surprise; Dunn used this national platform to start SurvJustice… but what exactly does SurvJustice do?

SurvJustice, which Dunn started in 2014, provides legal help to women and men who have been sexually assaulted, mainly on college campuses.

And what was one of the first things Dunn did while running SurvJustice?  That’s right… she defended Rolling Stone‘s rape hoax, authored by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, who did not bother vetting Jackie Coakley’s false accusation at all, even after the tale had been exposed as a hoax.

When Rolling Stone published its apocryphal article about a sadistic and premeditated fraternity gang rape at the University of Virginia, many who should have known better took it seriously. It was a Gothic fantasy nurtured by specious statistics, poorly designed studies, and panic. The writers and editors at Rolling Stone are to blame for publishing the story. But it was the investigative journalists at NPR and the Center for Public Integrity who made it all seem real.

Dunn now runs SurvJustice, an advocacy group for rape survivors. She was one of the experts cited in the Rolling Stone UVA rape story. After the tale unraveled and Rolling Stone issued an apology, Dunn defended the original story and denounced doubters as “rape denialists.”

Even after Erdely admitted her story was bogus and issued an apology (to everyone except the fraternity members in question), Dunn continued to support the hoax, even referring to those who uttered the truth as “rape denialists.”  I guess it takes a hoaxer to know and support a hoaxer?  Perhaps someone should ask Dunn what she thinks of the story now that Rolling Stone has (finally) paid the accused a $1.65 million settlement for running the fake story?

The truth is, false accusations are not only extremely damaging for the accused and not punished harshly enough, they delegitimize real rape victims in the process.  Michelle Malkin did an excellent job summing up what needs to be done about false rape accusations…

Too few journalists are willing to challenge the corruption of the criminal-justice system in their backyards. Politicized police departments and pro-prosecution courts have failed to uphold the constitutional rights of the accused. The wheels of justice grind far too slowly for the falsely defamed and falsely convicted, fighting for their reputations or for their lives behind bars.

Juries need to send louder messages and impose strong deterrents against rape fakers and their propagandists. Make them pay. Big time.

…but she did not touch on the precedent false rape accusations set.  Recently, a woman plead guilty to making a false rape accusation against two college football players.  What will happen if she gets raped for real in the future, or if one of the football players actually rapes someone?  Will the cops just roll their eyes and say “here we go again,” knowing what happened in the past?  A woman in Alabama committed suicide after accusing a very powerful man of raping her, due to the extreme pressure she faced of accusing such a well-known and connected individual. Unlike Dunn, the encounter destroyed her life, instead of kickstarting a lucrative activism career.

In these situations, the stage has been set by people like Laura Dunn, who has taken the notoriety that she has gained with the exposure given to her by the Obama administration and used it to unapologetically support rape hoaxers, without questioning the effect she is having on actual rape victims.

Take a look at one last excerpt from The Daily Beast, so you can see first-hand the disdain the media has taken to the facts related to the Dunn case:

She suggested I call her colleague Kristin Jones—the author of the section on Laura Dunn.

Jones had read the OCR letter, but she didn’t think Dunn’s subsequent consensual encounters with her alleged attackers were worth mentioning.

She had heard from “people who are experts” that victims are often in shock and they sometimes try to feign normalcy by continuing to socialize with their attackers. She could not recall any names of the experts, but in a follow-up email, she suggested I contact David Lisak. I did, but so far he has not replied to my queries.

I also attempted to speak with Joseph Shapiro at NPR, but he declined in a polite email: “Our policy is to let the stories speak for themselves.”

Yes, Joseph, the facts of this story are speaking for themselves, and they increasingly point to Laura Dunn making the whole thing up after sitting through a feminist’s lecture at the University of Wisconsin.  And the fact is, people like Dunn who play loose with the facts surrounding rape have made life exponentially more difficult for the women who are actual victims of the crime.

Go ahead, present these facts to Obama and former members of his administration, and see if you can get them to change their minds, since they gave Dunn her start in the first place.  But, given their prior unwavering support of Dunn, they’d probably just blame the whole thing on the NRA.