For more than fifteen years, Dawn Schiller has been a survivor-leader in the anti-trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault movements. As a speaker, trainer and author, she combines her personal experiences and academic studies in difference, power and discrimination to raise awareness about sex trafficking, domestic violence and teen victimization.



Dawn was fifteen years old in 1976 when her family moved into an apartment complex managed by 32-year-old porn star John Holmes. After grooming Dawn, Holmes began a sexual relationship with her, manipulating her with drugs and alcohol, abusing her physically and emotionally, and prostituting her on the streets of Hollywood, to brothels and drug dealers. After the famed Wonderland murders in 1981, they fled to Florida, where she ultimately broke free and turned him over to the police.

Dawn eventually relocated to the Pacific Northwest, where she attended Eastern Oregon University and earned her undergraduate degree in Communication and Gender Studies in 2012, graduating summa cum laude. After gaining a full-tuition teaching fellowship, Dawn taught Women's Sudies and Activism at Oregon State University, where she completed her Master of Arts in Women's Studies in 2016. 

In addition to being a nationally sought-after speaker, Dawn has been a consultant with the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) since 2009. She sits on the Education Committee and is an advisory board member for the National Center of Victims of Crime in Washington, D.C., The Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center and Voices Set Free. She is a member of the National Survivor Network (NSN) and Survivor 2 Survivor (S2S) for trafficking victims. She represented Val Kilmer in New York for the Volvo For Life Awards in both 2006 and 2008.

Dawn was and is an inspiration to me, as she will be to you. There is nothing in this world we cannot overcome, if we trust in love. It’s a healing message for all the women and girls in the world who have not yet found their strength. Dawn’s story is a miracle. She is a miracle. I am proud to know her.



NEW: Adult Human Trafficking Screening Toolkit and Guide — Dawn is one of the survivor-expert contributors in this new screening tool. It is designed for use across various health care, behavioral health, social services, and public health settings in order to assess adult patients or clients for human trafficking victimization or risk for potential trafficking victimization. Click here to download (free)


Dawn Schiller speaks at the Single Mothers Outreach in Santa Clarita, CA, February 10, 2018.

Dawn Schiller speaks to a packed auditorium in Bakersfield, CA, Jan. 29, 2018, at an event sponsored by Kern Coalition Against Human Trafficking.

Dawn Schiller speaks to a packed auditorium in Bakersfield, CA, Jan 29, 2018.


Dawn Schiller speaks on behalf of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) at the Concert for America, May 24, 2017, in Los Angeles, CA.