top of page

The woman behind the words.

Jean Cozier is an author, podcaster, and storyteller. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, she tirelessly endeavors to create healing through artistic expression.  Words, rhythm, and tone have long been her greatest allies, both as tools for personal healing and as inspirations to others.

4C9621F5-05E0-47E2-AEEC-7BF0457DF935.jpeg

Trauma Really Sucks!

Jean has dedicated her to life to raising awareness about the silent pandemic of child sexual abuse, and to helping survivors. Her path through this mission has been anything but a straight line.

Jean tragically lost her father and brother in a plane crash in 1959. Tragedy would continue to mar her formative years. Her troubles were only magnified coming of age in a world where the only value a woman could provide was beauty. She had so much more to offer beyond looks. Verbally gifted, and musically inclined, she did all she could to drown out the world and create. 

Jean's Dad.png
Jean - young girl 1.png

Between the ages of 8 and 14, Jean was sexually abused by a family member. It forever altered the trajectory of her life.  It wasn't until decades later that she began to properly process and heal from this trauma. At the age of 17, she ended an accidental pregnancy by traveling out of state to get a legal abortion, which in July of 1973 was only available in the state of New York.

Desperately craving creativity, inspiration, and intellectual enrichment beyond the constraints of a small Indiana town, Jean followed her passions to Northwestern University, where she met her husband Ernie.

 

Pursuing both an independent and corporate career as a filmmaker and screenwriter, Jean re-connected later in life with her cousin, Judith. The profound impact of this relationship formed the basis of her first book, Dear Judith, A Portrait of Survival. Judith, having passed away from cancer, was also a survivor.

Wedding Day.png
Dear Judith Cover Art.png

Her relationship with Judith and the grief over her loss inspired Jean to start the Judith Dawn Memorial Fund. In life, Judith inspired Jean to explore her memories of child sexual abuse. Through therapy and art, they both found the courage to heal and create.

This was the foundation of Jean’s next endeavor - The Judith Dawn Memorial Fund. This fund was later administered by the Awakenings Foundation, which she founded in 2010.  Through this organization, she was able to provide space and resources for survivors to artistically express their lived experiences of sexual abuse. She tirelessly created the healing space her and her cousin Judith never had.

As life continued to ebb and flow, and the years went by,  Jean ramped up her philanthropic efforts and became a major donor. Many Chicago area non-profits related to sexual abuse and violence have grown and benfitted from her donations. She continues to touch and impact the lives of those she will never meet.

It was at this point that Jean inadvertently began writing her second book. The relationship with her mother had long been incredibly strained and emotionally complex. The inspiration for the book came first from watching her mother’s health deteriorate while reluctantly playing the role of caretaker.  It started out as one simple poem. This turned into two poems. Before she knew it, she had another book on her hands. Thus Heavy Metal, A Song of Healing, was written.

Jean - Red Shirt.png
E6673F5E-11F0-4F3C-A699-766EE52E4D00.jpeg

During the Covid pandemic, Jean was diagnosed with breast cancer.  During treatment, she collapsed on the hospital floor, which led her medical team to the discovery of a major blood clot near her heart.  Surviving breast cancer and a blood clot profoundly impacted many facets of her life. Chief among them was her relationship with her art and her mission of raising awareness about child sexual abuse.

Her attention is now squarely focused on revitalizing her writing and mining a rich lode of traumatic experiences. The goal of her work is to create healing through creative expression. She has since put her production experience to work as well. Along with friends Tom and Derek, she started the Shame On You podcast, which explores the lack of funding and resources available for programs impacting child sexual abuse.

The tragic death of a father and a brother she barely knew; harrowing sexual abuse in childhood; the death of a best friend and cousin; breast cancer and blood cots during a global pandemic; and a creative and inspired life full of service and overcoming challenges; healing and writing. Yet, still, if you were to ask her how she feels about it all, she would smile and say, “Laugh or Die!.”

CV

1976

Bachelor of Science in Radio, TV, and Film

Northwestern University​ 

1976-1998

Independent Screenwriter and Filmmaker for Corporate America

1996

Telly Award for Motor Inc. Diversity Training Program

“Check It At the Door”

1996

Aurora Gold Award for Scriptwriting

Motorola Diversity Training Films

2015

Impact Award

Zacharias Center, Gurnee, Illinois

2021

Visionary Award

Resilience, Chicago, Illinois

Books

2007 

Dear Judith; A Portrait of Survival

2017

Heavy Metal; A Song of Healing

bottom of page