About CJ Scarlet
CJ Scarlet was 19, a freshman in college, when she was raped. After suffering for a decade from the emotional aftermath of her harrowing experience, she became an advocate for other crime survivors, volunteering on rape crisis and domestic violence boards, running a child advocacy center and working as Director of Victims Issues for the NC Attorney General’s Office. In the process, she became an expert on crime victim issues and victim notification technology, speaking at national and international criminal justice conferences. She holds an interdisciplinary master’s degree with an emphasis on human violence.
But the dark secrets CJ held and the stress they caused led her to develop two life-threatening autoimmune conditions that, in 2002, left her fighting for her life. By 2004, she was so debilitated, she had to crawl on her hands and knees to get upstairs, and she couldn’t lift a cup of coffee or hold a hairbrush. She became very depressed and anxious about her impending heart failure. Then she was offered the chance to meet privately with a Tibetan Buddhist lama who commanded her to “stop feeling sorry for herself and start thinking of the happiness of other people.”
Daunted but determined, CJ began performing small acts of kindness—letting the mom with the crying baby go ahead of her in line, giving her cane to a woman who was struggling to walk and volunteering at the Red Cross after Hurricane Katrina. These simple, free acts made her feel a bit happier, so she did more, and the more she did the better she felt, until she reached a point where her heart was so full it no longer mattered whether she was sick or ill, or even living or dying—she was filled with gratitude for each moment. At that point, her condition went into remission! Today, she feels better than ever.
CJ decided to use the life lessons she had learned, along with her knowledge of victims issues, to address violence and crime on a global level. But she was tired of dealing with crime after it occurred; she wanted to do something to keep it from happening at all. So in August 2016, she cofounded Evidence Vault to encourage victims of crime to enter information about the incidents into a secure mobile app called Evidence Vault.
In a matter of minutes, people can anonymously enter identifying information about their assailants via the user-friendly Evidence Vault mobile app, which was created by Harvard alumni and students. Evidence Vault continually scans cases to identify patterns and matching data. As more victims come forward, the likelihood of a match increases. When a match is made, the system notifies the survivors and asks if they will talk with law enforcement investigators about the case.
According to RAINN.org, currently, less than 1 percent of rape cases result in a conviction. The average rapist commits 6 assaults before being caught. Most survivors know their attacker, but 80 percent never report their assaults. Knowing other witnesses have come forward will make criminal cases stronger and encourage more victims to testify. Our campaign’s goal is to increase that number by over 300% in one year.
Formerly a roller-skating car hop, U.S. Marine and forest firefighter, CJ is now a criminal justice expert and victim advocate, and an award-winning writer and motivational speaker. She has given presentations and workshops at national and international events, and has appeared on numerous radio and television programs. CJ has also been named one of the “Happy 100” people on the planet, and is featured in the bestselling books, Happy for No Reason and Be Invincible.