WHERE IT STARTED...
In 1983, Dave Amis met his first serial predator.
He was a student at the elite Phillips Academy, a boarding school in Andover, Massachusetts. One night he was walking his girlfriend home from the school dance when Dean David Cobb stopped them and demanded that Dave walk Artemis(1) immediately to her dorm. The next day, Artemis told Dave that Dean Cobb had gone to her dorm room, and raped her. Both Dave and Artemis reported this crime to the school, but no legal action was taken. Another Dean told Dave that she believed Artemis was “making it up”.
Approximately 12 years later, Cobb was arrested for pedophilia-related crimes. Dave again contacted the school and told the story of the attack on Artemis. However, pretty soon no one at the school would discuss it any further. Cobb was never charged for this crime and according to the Andover Police Department, there is no record of the crime being reported either in 1983 or in 1995.(2)
In court Cobb’s attorney and psychiatrist argued that he had never “touched any of his victims”. Several people at Andover knew about Artemis and yet they failed to notify the court. In Dave’s opinion, it looked like the crime had been covered up three times.
This left an indelible mark on Dave. If the nation’s leading preparatory school couldn’t keep a 16 year-old girl safe, then where could she be safe? If such a group of well-educated people with hundreds of millions in endowment funds wouldn’t do the right thing, then who would?
This question would plague Dave for many years. In 2011, Dave recruited several co-founders to start Strider, to address the challenges of violence-against-women. In many ways, the attack on Artemis and Andover’s failure to do the right thing, several times, was the beginning of Strider.
(2) We talked to the records department at Andover PD in 2018 and they stated that there is no record of a criminal report
concerning this crime.
Letter from Co-Founder Dave Amis
Friends, Family, and Striders!
I have spent over $1M getting both Strider SFV Lab and Strider Safety Operations started. It is and will always be a passion of mine to make people safe and to stop predators. But other people are going to have to pick up the funding part moving forward.
We have identified dozens of great ways to bring about change and I am hopeful that a whole new generation of Striders will join up and propel this work forward. We can do great things, but they will only happen if enough people care.
Come join the fight,
Jan. 25, 2019