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Ilse Knecht

Director of Policy & Advocacy, Joyful Heart Foundation

About Ilse Knecht

Ilse has 20 years invested in victim advocacy and is a nationally recognized expert on the rape kit backlog. She leads Joyful Heart’s End The Backlog campaign, which is at the forefront of identifying untested rape kits across the country, appealing for laws and policies to improve criminal justice responses to sexual violence; and working with jurisdictions to assist them to develop and implement survivor-centered reforms. Previously, Ilse spent 16 years at the National Center for Victims of Crime, where she created the DNA Resource Center and led the center’s efforts to reform policies and practices related to testing rape kits. She credits her mother with instilling a duty in her to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”