Knife Edge Capitol Peak
Knife Edge, Capitol Peak. Credit: Lynn Hall

I talk to high school and college classes about my personal story, rape-prone cultures, and the movement against sexual violence both within and outside of the military. When reading my full memoir is not thematically or age appropriate, instructors often assign some of my other writing. For non-academic audiences, I center my messages around the concept of resilience.


Lynn Hall has visited my gender studies course for the past seven years to speak about military sexual assault. She reaches students in multiple ways–personally and politically, as a survivor and activist, as a critical and compassionate thinker. Lynn brings humanity to theoretical discussions of power and privilege, systems that silence survivors, and resistance. Every year a few students switch their research focus to military sexual assault after hearing from Lynn. At the end of the course, I hear not only from students that Lynn’s visit was a highlight, but from parents who share that Lynn’s story became a powerful topic of family conversation. 

Emily Pérez

My students and I have felt honored to have Lynn Hall visit our Gender Studies classes over the past seven years.  While her article captures their attention and educates them on sexual assault in the military, it is her presence when she speaks with my students that is most profound. She helps them understand not only salient issues and personal events and how they unfold in a system that is unfamiliar to them but also, and importantly, the nuances that allow these systems to continue and affect people of all backgrounds and ages. Despite the trauma behind Lynn’s experiences, she immediately connects to our students, and they feel safe and comfortable asking her thoughtful and personal questions. There are always students who want to stay after class and ask her more questions or find consolation in her presence. Several students have reached out to Lynn for further support on their research papers. I feel fortunate to know Lynn and am behind inspired by her resilience and perseverance.

Elissa Wolf-Tinsman