Post courtesy of Burned Beauty
Location: Chicago, USA
Date Of Injury: 2006
When it comes to adversity, some people are just unyielding. Karli Butler has faced some serious trials, but in each step, remains unbreakable. Turning her trauma into triumph, she’s a survivor who by sharing her story and using it for good, does more than just show the world her strength.
In March 2006, she was the target of a vicious attack made in retaliation against her then boyfriend. The violent beating escalated to kidnapping, but Karli was able to escape from the trunk of her car while it was in motion. In May, another attack occurred—same motive, but different attackers— and this attack left much different scarring. Karli’s attackers poured acid over her body and she spent the next six and half weeks in the Intensive Care Burn Unit. She endured over a dozen surgeries, but the emotional effects of her attacks ran much deeper than the external scarring. Due to a lack of sufficient evidence, only one of her five attackers was ever brought to justice, leaving Karli with a totally different wound.
Instead of letting trials defeat her, Karli made an important decision—to speak up. And as an expert in the art of communication, she is well equipped to do so. Karli is a proud alumna of DePaul University and she holds not only a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, but also a Master of Arts in Organizational and Multicultural Communication, incorporating that acumen when speaking to her different audiences. In addition to her academic degrees, she is a certified peer supporter of the University of Chicago Hospital’s Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery program and a trained circle keeper (or facilitator) with Restorative Justice Evanston and the Evanston Police Department.
Since making that extremely brave decision, she’s delivered over 50 speeches and presentations for groups and organizations such as Valparaiso University, Loyola University Medical Center, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, and even her alma mater, DePaul University. These discussion-based lectures pertain to self-esteem, self- respect, forgiveness, and being a survivor of violence. She provides tips on overcoming trauma and life’s obstacles, but most importantly, she demonstrates how self-esteem comes from within and it’s ability to empower and heal the body and mind.
Karli’s reach doesn’t end with only those she physically meets and encourages. To prevent others from enduring similar trials, she worked to change legislation that could help a countless number of people in her home state and played a key role in the passing of Illinois House Bill 2193—a bill that requires anyone buying commercial-grade hydrochloric or sulfuric acid to show photo identification and have their data entered into a state database.
Karli currently lives in Evanston, IL and when she’s not running around at parks with her adorable son Zailen, you can find her eating Hoosier Mama pie, or having drinks with her favorite gal pals….or ironing her superwoman cape.