Rape Victim Advocates is honored to announce a generous grant from Jean Cozier to expand our Counseling and Communications staffing!

Jean Cozier is a longtime Rape Victim Advocates supporter who has an extensive history within the anti-rape movement. She is the founder of The Awakenings Foundation, a private operating foundation created in 2010, whose mission is to make visible the artistic expression of survivors of rape and sexual abuse. She also founded the Judith Dawn Memorial Fund for the Arts, which awards a total of $5,000 yearly to survivors who wish to pursue the creative arts as a means of healing and empowerment.

Jean Cozier headshot Jean’s sizable private grant allows RVA to hire an additional counselor, which has already resulted in significantly decreasing our waiting list. The grant will also improve the visibility and knowledge of our services by supporting a brand new full-time marketing and communications position.

Jean is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse who is completely open about her life and history. She has worked with sexual abuse survivors since 1998, when she created the Judith Dawn Memorial Fund as a memorial to her cousin, Judith Dawn Hickey, an artist and sexual abuse survivor who died in January of 1998. Jean administered the program in partnership with the Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center in Gurnee, Illinois, until 2012, when she decided to administer it through the Awakenings Foundation.

The Awakenings Foundation, incorporated in 2010, contains the only known permanent collection of artwork created solely by survivors of rape and sexual abuse, as well as rotating exhibits from featured artist/survivors. The Gallery also hosts performances and partnered events with other organizations who share the Awakenings Foundation’s mission.

Jean is the author of “Dear Judith”, which tells Judith’s story through their shared correspondence. She is also an accomplished writer and producer of film and video, and has received several scriptwriting awards for a series of training programs for Motorola Cellular on diversity training and sexual harassment. Jean is also a talented pianist and trained vocalist, having performed in several local a cappella choirs and numerous open mic nights. Jean has been married since 1976 to Ernie Webb, and is currently busy working on an illustrated poetry collection entitled “Heavy Metal: A Song of Healing.”

Jean Cozier has been a friend and supporter of RVA since 1999, and in 2009 she partnered with RVA to present “The Art of Survival,” an art exhibition showcasing her personal collection of artwork created by survivors of rape and sexual abuse. An original artwork, entitled “Seeds to the Wind”, created by Jean’s cousin Judith Dawn Hickey, is currently on display at RVA’s central office.

We are deeply grateful to Jean for her lifetime commitment to survivors of sexual violence, and to enabling RVA to provide hope and healing for so many more through her generosity and partnership.