Jeffrey Epstein accuser Jennifer Araoz, who says the now-dead money man raped her at age 15, is starting a foundation to help survivors of sexual abuse and sex trafficking, she revealed in an exclusive interview with The Post.
The 33-year-old Queens woman is launching Survivors Initiative on Wednesday to create a support network for victims of sexual abuse and trafficking — and to help them pursue criminal and civil punishment for their abusers.
The group — which Araoz cofounded with her lawyer Eric Lerner and others — will also work with experts in “data driven tracing and prevention of sex crimes, as well as predicting these crimes before they occur so we can intervene if possible,” Araoz told The Post.
Jennifer Araoz, an alleged victim of Jeffrey Epstein, center, speaks with members of the media outside of federal court in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. (Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The organization can also help connect women with the Time’s Up legal defense fund so that they can get legal services that are discounted or free. Survivors Organization will contribute 5 percent of funding to the Time’s Up legal defense fund, Lerner told The Post.
Araoz’s foundation also hopes to partner with modeling agencies so that models can learn about the resources and support that the organization can offer them.
She is also working to partner with data-management experts to track potential predators on social media and either alert law enforcement or the women who may be caught up with the predators.
Araoz also wants to work with prosecutors to help bring abusers to justice through aiding victims in obtaining evidence they need to prove their abuse — which often times happened many years prior. The foundation plans to help these women remember their trauma and retrace the abuse through obtaining medical records, any receipts showing where they went and any messages they exchanged with the person.
“It’s a way for, especially young children, who come sometimes alone from other states, other cities, other countries” to New York City, Araoz said. “To feel like they have somewhere to go if they feel like they have been prey to someone who could be a predator so they are not alone anymore.”
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend de Grisogono Sponsors The 2005 Wall Street Concert Series Benefitting Wall Street Rising, with a Performance by Rod Stewart at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005 in New York City. (Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
“At the time I could have used something just like this and this would have been a huge help for me and I’m sure so many others,” she said.
Araoz sued the dead pedophile’s estate, alongside his alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell, last year claiming that she was raped by Epstein at his tony Manhattan townhouse when she was just 15 after being recruited by a brunette a year earlier at her performing arts high school.
Araoz filed a separate suit against Maxwell for her alleged involvement in the sex-trafficking ring. The British socialite has since been arrested and charged with sex-trafficking, enticement of minors and perjury.
Araoz reacted to a newly unsealed deposition that Maxwell gave in 2016 in a since-settled lawsuit against Maxwell by another Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre.
“It was obvious that she was lying,” Araoz told The Post. “She needs to be held accountable.”
In fact, one of the criminal charges that Maxwell faces is for lying during that deposition.
“I feel like all these perpetrators have the same thing happen over and over — they get a slap on the wrist for the things they’ve done,” Araoz said. “And now they are finally being held accountable for what they have done. It makes me angry but also excited that these people are being brought to justice.”
Araoz said she started to discover how much victims can help each other after she first went public with her story last year and received messages from men and women who had been sexually abused — including from survivors of abuse within the Catholic church and the Boy Scouts of America.
“You didn’t think it would make such a big impact but it really does — just speaking your truth,” Araoz said.
The foundation will be based in New York to begin, but Lerner said they hope to open a satellite office in D.C. as well so that they can investigate possible involvement of members of Congress in Epstein’s sex-trafficking ring or other sex trafficking rings.
“It didn’t end with Jeffrey Epstein,” Lerner said. “There are a lot of people within the network of Jeffrey Epstein who have not been named or prevented from continuing the crimes.”
Araoz praised the work that Lerner has done on the Epstein case.
“I don’t think anybody knows more about Epstein and his coconspirators than [Eric] does,” Araoz said. “My whole non-profit wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for him.”
Lerner said he saw Araoz’s desire to help other victims when she would offer advice over the phone and in one case even flew with Lerner from New York to Los Angeles to help a victim in an unrelated case retrace the steps of her perpetrator after the woman blocked out her trauma.
“I have witnessed the amount of work that [Jennifer] has done with other survivors of sexual assault,” Lerner said of Araoz’s efforts before even starting the foundation.
Lerner noted that while they help others through the foundation, they will continue to fight Araoz’s civil cases against Epstein, Maxwell and others in Epstein’s network. Lerner said Araoz isn’t participating in the Epstein Victims Compensation Fund — at least for the time being.
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