Dawn Shiller

Dawn Schiller is an expert survivor-leader in the anti-trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault movements. Abused and trafficked on the streets of Hollywood in her teens by the infamous porn actor, John Holmes, she survived the gruesome Wonderland Avenue murders in 1981 and ultimately turned him into the police. Her subsequent years of struggle to survivorship, education and service offer valuable first-hand insight to community advocates. Today, she is a national speaker, educator, consultant and author.

Dawn earned her undergraduate degree summa cum laude in 2012 from Eastern Oregon University with honors in communication and gender studies. She served on the committee to revise the university’s sexual harassment policy and received the “Women of Vision and Courage” award from the President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW). She is a Phi Kappa Phi Kathleen Greey Fellow and was granted a full tuition teaching fellowship from Oregon State University earning her Master of Arts in Women’s Studies in 2017. She has served as a board member for Shelter From the Storm, has founded the non-profit E.S.T.E.A.M., (Empowering Successful Teens through Education, Awareness & Mentoring), and developed the “Mirrors of Me” girl’s art, writing and mentoring camp for at-risk and marginalized youth. In film, Dawn has worked as an associate producer and consultant on the movie “Wonderland” where actress Kate Bosworth portrayed her while actor Val Kilmer played John Holmes. In television, her story has been told on the Travel Channel (2011) Hidden City Crime Files: L.A., with Marcus Sakey, on the Investigative Discovery Channel (2013), Porn Star Pedophile, CBS KOIN Channel Six, The Road Through Wonderland, and featured on Human Trafficking in the United States, produced by the Crittenden Foundation & the Office for Victims of Crime (2016).


The Road Through Wonderland: Surviving John Holmes

This eye-opening presentation brings audiences through a young girl’s journey of surviving abuse and human trafficking and how she ultimately became a woman of leadership instilling hope in others. Dawn shines a light on the predatory tactics of abusers while simultaneously assisting teens in finding a way to steer clear of the life to which she fell prey.


By attending this program, participants should be able to:

1. Recognize demographic risks associated with poor outcomes and traits associated with resilience
2. Discuss current approaches which might be best for someone who experienced trauma
3. Identify types of traumatic stress and symptoms and how these symptoms may be affecting relationships and resiliency