The Army of Survivors is the only organization in the United States advocating for and supporting athlete survivors of sexual abuse. It was created by a group of athlete survivors and its mission is to bring awareness, accountability, and transparency to sexual violence against athletes at all levels. The goal of The Army of Survivors is to end sexual assault against athletes by ensuring perpetrators and enablers are held accountable, creating transparency in reporting, building an environment in which athletes do not fear retaliation when reporting abuse, and advocating for change to protect survivors.
Julie Ann Rivers-Cochran
Executive Director, The Army of Survivors, GSG Member
Julie Ann Rivers-Cochran, MSW (she/her) is a national leader within the field of the prevention and intervention of gender-based violence (GBV). She is the Executive Director of The Army of Survivors (TAOS), whose mission is to bring awareness, accountability, and transparency to sexual violence against athletes at all levels.
Over 20 years ago, Julie Ann began her career in the movement to end GBV by providing direct services and advocacy for survivors at Alternatives for Battered Women (now the Willow Center) of Rochester, NY. Prior to TAOS, Rivers-Cochran worked for the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health and as President and Founder for Blackbird Consulting for Non-profits, a consultancy committed to helping non-profit organizations carry out their mission while best serving their constituency. As a survivor of childhood trauma, Rivers-Cochran is a fierce advocate, whose personal experience with the impact of sexual assault and domestic violence has translated into a lifelong goal of listening to, then advocating for survivors while holding perpetrators and the systems that support them accountable.
Julie Ann holds a master’s degree in Social Work from Florida State University, a bachelor’s degree in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College, and an Executive Certificate in Transformational Non-profit Leadership from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.
“I am proud to be a part of Brave – a movement grounded in survivor voices. The Brave Movement truly prioritises, acknowledges, and incorporates survivor voices in all aspects of the movement; something that is paramount and yet often so rare. The critical thinking and planning that has gone into bringing the Brave Movement’s vision to fruition, to create and grow momentum for collective action to end sexual violence against children and adolescents has been invaluable. The recognition given to each organisation enables Brave to use this collective resource as a solid foundation to drive the movement forward. This is a humble group of allies working together sharing thought leadership in our respective fields of expertise, while constantly realigning with survivors’ voices and well-being. The time is now for organizations like The Army of Survivors to be intentional about creating and being part of a global movement. Only by connecting the silos can we be stronger working together towards our common goal to end sexual violence against children and adolescents.”