Forensic Technology Center of Excellence

Introduction

Just a Survivor’s Perspective and Reflection

Just a Survivor’s Perspective and Reflection

Original Release Date: April 16, 2021

In episode one of our 2021 Sexual Assault Awareness Month mini season, Just Science sat down with author, non-profit founder, and sexual assault survivor Natasha Alexenko to discuss her book, A Survivor’s Journey, and the importance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Every survivor of sexual assault has their own story. Some have experienced successful case resolutions and others have not, but all are on a journey of healing. As Natasha Alexenko says, each survivor is more than just their story. From advocacy to legislation, Natasha works tirelessly to improve the response to sexual assault in our country. Listen along as she discusses the impact of her book, the introduction of new legislation to improve sexual assault response, and recommendations for supporting survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic in this episode of Just Science.

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence [Award 2016-MU-BX-K110].

Listen to or download the episode here:

View or download the episode transcript here:
Transcript


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Guest Biography

Born on Long Island, New York, and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, Natasha Simone Alexenko is a survivor, activist, and educator who has been developing national policies and procedures related to sexual assault for nearly a decade. Natasha provides technical expertise and advice on survivor advocacy, assistance, and prevention programs throughout the country. Alexenko has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other national and international publications. She has made guest appearances on broadcast and cable networks and was the focus of the HBO documentary Sex Crimes Unit. Alexenko shared her story at the historic 2015 joint press conference at which Vice President Joe Biden and New York County (Manhattan) District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. pledged a combined $80 million to help defray the cost and reduce the backlog of untested rape kits. Alexenko serves as a subject matter expert to Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance's Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Grants. In 2018, Grand Harbor Press published Natasha’s memoir, A Survivor’s Journey: From Victim to Advocate. Natasha presently resides in New York with her partner Scott, nephew Alex, mom Nevart, and dog Piper.

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