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Julie Weil is sexual assault survivor and global activist who has used her voice to turn trauma into lasting change. Abducted along with her children from a preschool parking lot in Miami, Julie barely survived multiple rapes and brutal torture out in the Florida Everglades at the hands of a stranger. With courage and the excellent work of her sexual assault nurse, law enforcement agents, DNA lab and State Attorney’s office, Julie successfully endured a four-year journey through the criminal justice system. Arrested after DNA was obtained from her perpetrator following his commission of another crime, her abductor/rapist’s long run from the law finally came to an end. He received seven consecutive life sentences for what he did to Julie’s family…one for Julie’s daughter, one for her son, and five life sentences for the multiple rapes and torture she was forced to endure.
Since the sentencing, Julie has devoted her life to being a champion for change in the way survivors of sexual assault are treated in the system. Over the past decade, her mission has grown like wildfire. After founding the Not Just Me Foundation in 2010, Julie has been a part of lasting improvements at all levels of government. Locally, she inspired the creation of Butterfly House, Palm Beach County’s only forensic exam center which Julie supports through her charity along with other community events. She has helped pass three pieces of legislation in the state of Florida pertaining to the rape kit backlog, including counting inventory, requiring mandatory testing and mandating a tracking system. At the federal level, Julie spent over two years walking the steps of Capitol Hill and educating congressional offices on the importance of clearing the national rape kit backlog through legislation. Her efforts helped to pass the SAFER Act in February 2013 , which is now a part of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Internationally, Julie worked with the IACP (International Association of Police Chiefs) on a two year project to bring the first rape crisis center to Egypt and was honored to be there when it opened in Cairo in November 2016. She also assisted the IACP with training law enforcement agencies in Guadalajara, Mexico and has spoken about the importance of DNA technology to agencies in Canada.
Julie’s true passion is inspiring forensic nurses, law enforcement personnel, lab analysts, attorneys and advocates to keep fighting the good fight against sexual assault and other violent crimes. Together, we can turn victims into strong survivors.