A Voice for Survivors of Sexual Violence
Louisa Stone’s ’17 internship this summer combined her passion for social justice with her goal of pursuing a career in public policy and legislation. Stone, a government major, worked for SurvJustice, a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. that helps survivors of sexual violence to find justice through legal assistance, policy advocacy, and institutional training. Her internship is funded through the Career Center and made possible by Daniel Fielding ’07.
Stone’s internship builds naturally on her previous experience. Last semester, she participated in Hamilton’s Washington, D.C. program, where she worked as a legislative intern for Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. That experience provided her with insight into the policy-making process, and she commented that “[Warren’s] unapologetic attitude inspired me to fight for survivors of sexual assault through legislative work.”
Leading up to this summer, she heard about SurvJustice from her friend Charlotte Bennett, who also interned with the non-profit this summer. Upon learning about SurvJustice’s mission, Stone realized it would be a perfect fit for her interests in social justice and legislation. She explained, “I wanted to work on issues involving American politics and explore modern political issues and advocacy work.” An internship at SurvJustice presented the perfect opportunity.
On a typical day at SurvJustice, Stone began by compiling an update on daily news articles related to sexual assaults on college campuses. She then spent time researching and writing about current legislation in Congress. In particular, Stone studied the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Clery Act, and Title IX. Occasionally, she visited Capitol Hill to speak with Congressional staff members about pending bills such as the Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA) and the Survivor’s Bill of Rights. Stone described this as one of the most challenging but also rewarding parts of her internship. Her goal was to effectively communicate the necessity of improvements to these bills in order to better protect the survivors of sexual violence.
Working to expand the rights of survivors in this way was highly rewarding and strengthened Stone’s conviction to pursue a career in policy. “SurvJustice has allowed me to be an advocate for survivors across the country who are struggling to have their voice heard by legislators,” she reflected. She hopes she’ll be able to take on a similar role in a future career devoted to advocacy and protecting women’s rights.