Monthly Archives: July 2016

UF Linebacker Stops Rape

University of Florida linebacker stops sexual assault outside bar


Police say a University of Florida football player helped stop the rape of an unconscious woman behind a trash bin outside a Gainesville bar.

Cristian Garcia told First Coast News he was taking out the trash from the bar where he works security early Thursday when he noticed a couple having sex. He initially thought it was consensual, but then noticed the woman was unconscious. Garcia said the man’s friends were watching the assault, and did nothing to help.

Garcia, a junior walk-on who plays linebacker for the Gators, said he and a fellow bouncer Leroyea Simmons Jackson walked up and stopped it.

Gainesville police later arrested 34-year-old Christopher Shaw and charged him with sexual battery of the 19-year-old victim.

“The girl was basically unconscious, so I knew there was no way she could be giving consent,” Garcia told the paper. He was jailed in lieu of a $500,000 bond.

Garcia told News4Jax he grabbed the man by his shoulder.

“I said, ‘Get off her! Get off her!’” he told the station. “And he was like, ‘Mind your business.’ I yanked him one more time. He got off. Then he got aggressive with me.”

Police said Shaw ran away from Garcia and Jackson, but he was caught later and officers were able to identify him from a video shot by a bystander, the station reported.

Police said the woman told investigators in a hospital interview that she didn’t know Shaw and that she tried to push him away but kept losing consciousness. Police said she was intoxicated.

this article courtesy of


Count-E-Line: Butterfly House

On Dec. 1, Commissioner Jess Santamaria and state Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto, along with staffers from Palm Beach County Victim Services, local legislators, and officials from Wellington Regional Medical Center held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour of the Butterfly House, the county’s first comprehensive sexual assault response care center.

The new facility, located on the west side of the Wellington Regional Medical Center campus, 10101 W. Forest Hill Blvd., will enhance the evidence collection process by providing coordinated crisis response and improved medical and mental health treatment for rape victims.

“We will raise awareness, we will hold the offenders accountable, and we will do everything we must do to help the victims of these terrible injustices,” said Sen. Benacquisto, who led the drive to secure state funding for the project.

“This is a long, long overdue program that is very much needed,” said Commissioner Santamaria as he presented a proclamation thanking the senator.

Nicole Bishop, director of Palm Beach County Justice Services and Victim Services, said having a centralized, dedicated response care center will lead to more arrests and successful prosecutions with a victim-centered approach. Ideally, she said, more victims will come forward knowing they have a safe haven.

“It is phenomenally important,” Bishop said. “It’s really going to help a lot of victims.”

Palm Beach County Victim Services will run the Butterfly House in conjunction with Wellington Regional Medical Center. Funding was provided by Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Health.

article courtesy of the Palm Beach County Count-E-Line (link to original article)

Butterfly House Opening

The Palm Beach Town Crier featured a video on their YouTube channel highlighting the Butterfly House at its opening:


Uploaded on Dec 8, 2011

Palm Beach County’s first rape victim treatment center, the Butterfly House, opened its doors with a Dec. 1 ceremony to christen its home on the Wellington Regional Medical Center campus.

Butterfly House Supplies

BH items

Julie Weil of the Not Just Me foundation brought several items to Palm Beach County Victim Services on Friday, July 22. She then posted onto her social media:

“Today we made a big drop off at Victim Services for Butterfly House. This summer has seen a dramatic increase in the number of reported sexual assaults…record numbers of people needing care. Thanks for those who made today’s supply run possible.”

Thank you for all your continued hard work Julie!

not just me


Want to know more about the Butterfly House?

The Butterfly House

Butterfly House

The Butterfly House is a freestanding forensic exam facility in Palm Beach County maintained by Palm Beach County Victim Services. Opened in 2011, it has been the go-to facility for many of the forensic exams in Palm Beach County. The site features an exam room, an interview room, and supplies to make the evidence collection process more comfortable. Exams are performed by our SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurses with a victim advocate present for support. 


On December 7, 2011, Nadia Sorocka of the Sun Sentinel featured this article:

“Wellington Regional Medical Center is now home to Palm Beach County’s first comprehensive sexual assault response care center.

On Dec. 1 State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto along with Palm Beach County Victim Services and hospital officials had a ribbon- cutting ceremony and tour of the center called the Butterfly House, which is located outside the Emergency Room.

The Butterfly House is the result of a year-long effort of Benacquisto and Victim Services to secure funding and a location for the service center.

“We made sure this project was looked after and that funding stayed in place,” Benacquisto said.

The center is expected to greatly improve response to victims’ needs with the ultimate goal to provide coordinated crisis response, improve medical and mental health treatment of rape victims and enhance the evidence collection process, according to Palm Beach County Justice Services and Victim Services staff.

“Every victim in Palm Beach County will be brought here,” Benacquisto said. “So a victim can heal and have the tools they need to love, grow and spread their wings again.”

By centralizing and coordinating dedicated teams comprising law enforcement, prosecutors, advocates and medical providers, there will be a more effective response to crimes of sexual assault. The medical staff at the Butterfly House, which is under the direction of Dr. David Soria and head nurse Joan Franklin, has undergone extensive training to better understand collection of forensic data, Soria said.

“In the past the process was inadequate and impaired the healing process,” he said. “We are ready to address the needs of these patients without the discomfort and delay of being in the ER.”


A link to the original article can be found here:



Additional articles on the Butterfly House include:

The Town Crier YouTube video

Count-E-Line news article

Self Defense Class 8/20/16

self defense class 2016

Level 1 Self Defense Class

Sat, August 20, 2016 – 10:30am

Jupiter Community Center


Join Obeo Society and Jupiter Traditional Martial Arts for a Level 1 Self Defense Class

Learn striking techniques, awareness skills and meet Julie Weil, rape survivor & president of the NOT JUST ME FOUNDATION.

This class will challenge you physically and instill special mental discipline meant to strengthen your spirit and develop your ability to deal with violent confrontations under intense stress. Don’t become a victim … Empower together!

Partial proceeds to benefit the NOT JUST ME FOUNDATION

Tickets available here

not just me

Clergy Workshop

Palm Beach County Victim Services & Certified Rape Crisis Center, grant partner Destiny by Choice and Aid to Victims of Domestic Violence along with Riviera Beach Police Department came together to provide a workshop titled ‘Family Strong, the Intersection between Domestic Violence & Clergy’ The focus of the workshop was to build a stronger collaboration between clergy leaders and secular services with the common goal of keeping families safe and strong. The workshop spoke to the importance of Clergy and faith in addressing the issue of domestic violence and sexual violence, demonstrated the prevalence of domestic and sexual violence, and how it impacts women, children, men, and families.  The intention was to ensure clergy and Faith leaders understand the dynamics and how to be a bridge rather than a barrier in addressing the issue with congregants.  Clergy were educated on resources that can best assist them and the families in need.  31 clergy and community resource individuals were in attendance.  PBCVS created a 7 step clergy point card for clergy to refer to when assisting victims.  Upon completion of the workshop clergy stated they recognized the vital importance of working with secular services to provide the safest outcome for their church members. The day after the workshop PBCVS advocates reported 3 referrals from clergy who attended the workshop.

FCASV Training Summit


Palm Beach County Victim Services & Certified Rape Crisis Center staff members recently attended and participated as presenters at the Biennial Florida Council Against Sexual Violence Training Summit, a three-day, movement-building and networking event in Jacksonville.

Victim Services Director Nicole Bishop and agency partner Pastor J.R. Thicklin (Destiny By Choice) presented “Bridging the Unspoken Divide: How SART’s Can Collaborate with Faith Communities.” SART stands for Sexual Assault Response Team. They addressed the divide between secular victim services agencies and faith-based communities. They discussed building relationships, training/cross training, and how to arm faith leaders in dealing with victims coming forward for help.

Victim Services Sexual Assault Outreach Coordinator Sharon Daugherty and Victim Services Therapy Coordinator Randee Kogan presented a thorough review of cases with insight on the effect trauma has on the victim titled, “From Victim to Survivor: Are We There Yet?” The effectiveness of the therapeutic process was highlighted as well as the vetting process and public speaking for survivor action team members.

SART member Julie Weil accepted the council’s Survivor Activist of the Year Award. Victim Services is fully committed to the theme of this event which focused on sexual violence advocacy, prevention, and services. For more information about the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, please visit

VA Clothesline Project


Staff from Palm Beach County Victim Services & Certified Rape Crisis Center and SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) were invited by the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center to participate in the VA’s annual Clothesline Project in which survivors created artwork on T-shirts that reflect their experiences of sexual trauma and recovery. All the survivors are men and women who have served or are serving in the military. It was an honor for Victim Services to meet some of these survivors and see their artwork.

NWF Daily News Article

Green Dot




HURLBURT FIELD — If you drive on or around Hurlburt Field, chances are you’ve seen some cars sporting a magnetic green dot.

The unusual accessory is designed to start a conversation. The goal is that the question “What’s with the green dot?” will lead to a discussion about Green Dot training.

The Air Force has contracted Green Dot, etc. to present the training, which gives students tools to intervene in a potentially violent situation.

For Tech Sgt. Jeremy Davey, the training, which he completed in early May, had almost immediate real-world applications.

Earlier this month, Davey and his wife, Svetlana, and their nearly 2-year-old daughter, Zoey, were enjoying a day at Navarre Beach.

“If you’ve ever been there, you know that to your right are the hotels and condos, and to the left there’s absolutely nothing,” Davey said. “I happened to look over to the left, and I saw something.”

The “something” was a young man who was propping up a young woman who was clearly having trouble walking.

— article courtesy of