Human trafficking survivor to share her experiences
The Curry Coastal Pilot /
The Brookings and Gold Beach Soroptimist clubs have joined together with Oasis House, the Gold Beach Education Fund, and Southwestern Oregon Community College to bring Dawn Schiller to speak.
Schiller will speak at Gold Beach High School on Monday, Oct. 1. She will speak at Brookings-Harbor High School on Tuesday, Oct. 2.
A third presentation will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Krieger Community Room at the Southwestern Oregon Community College Curry Campus, 96082 Lone Ranch Parkway, Brookings. This free presentation is open to the public.
Schiller was a victim of human trafficking. Her book "The Road Through Wonderland: Surviving John Holmes" is a memoir of how she became involved with porn star John Holms when she was 15. Holmes abused her physically and emotionally and manipulated her with drugs and alcohol. Schiller eventually broke free and turned Holmes over to the police.
According to Schiller, anyone can be a victim of human trafficking regardless of age, education, or race. Traffickers often prey on people who lack employment opportunities, have an unstable home life, have a history of sexual abuse, or those simply hoping for a better life andndash; conditions present in all portions of society.
To help prevent other teens from experiencing a similar fate, Schiller founded a nonprofit called ESTEAM andndash; Empowering Successful Teens through Education, Awareness and Mentoring to help at-risk teens and raise awareness on the issues they face.
Schiller works full time at Eastern Oregon University in the Arts and Science Department in La Grande, is on the committee to revise the University's Sexual Harassment Policy, and is a member of the President's Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW).
Nationally she sits on the Education Committee and is an Advisory Board member of the National Centers of Victims of Crime out of Washington D.C. She is an Advisory Board member for the organization The Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center and Voices Set Free, and she was nominated for the ROSE andndash; Regaining Ones Self Esteem andndash; award in 2007, 2008, 2009 and the Sunshine Peace Award in 2010.
Schiller received a Courage Award, and the President's Commission on the Status of Women recognizes her for her courage and vision in working for a world without violence against women and girls.
For more information contact Dotty Denny at 541-247-7385, Karyn Dagenais at 541-661-2591, or Aleta Mankamyer at 541-813-1671. Soroptimist International is a service organization working to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world.