“Rapists, on average, rape 11 times and are associated with numerous other crimes.” – The Detroit Free Press
In 2009, it was shocking to learn that there had been over 10,000 rape kits untested and abandoned in a Detroit police storage unit. The actual number, according to the Huffington Post was 11,304. Some of those rape kits dated back to the 1980s.
In the last 5 years since the kits were found, only 2,000 of those kits have been tested.
According to the Detroit Free Press, two nonprofits have teamed up to rain the $10 million that has been projected to investigate and prosecute all the unsolved rape cases in Detroit.
Kym Worthy, a Wayne County Prosecutor, has vowed to end these injustices.
Her office, along with the Michigan’s Women Foundation, raised enough money to have all the kits tested. The state of Michigan also set aside money to have the kits tested. It is projected that all of the kits will have been tested by May 2015.
The Tested Kits
Out of the 2,000 kits that have already been tested, there was a DNA match for 670 of them. Out of those 670, there were 180 serial rapists identified including 15 that have already been convicted.
One of them is Shelly Andre Brooks. He is serving a life sentence for raping and murdering seven women. The Detroit Free Press indicates,
“-crimes that likely would have been prevented had the original rape kit from a previous assault been tested.”
In an interview Kym Worthy stated,
“This is not just about rape. Rapist when the rape break into your house and rape, they car jack you and rape, they rape you and then they kill you. The is about all violent crimes in Southeastern Michigan.”
In an article by Nola.com, Kym Worthy was quoted as saying that this isn’t just a Detroit problem. Twenty-six other states and the District of Columbia have played host to these rapists.
Money Now Being Raised
Having the kits tested is only the first step. Once tested if there is a DNA match, the case will need to be investigated and prosecuted. That is why more money is now being raised.
The fund-raising campaign called, Enough SAID, which stands for Sexual Assault in Detroit Michigan, has already started raising the money. So far, business donors and private individuals from 45 states and 8 counties have donated $750,000 to the cause.
The Michigan Attorney General has set aside $3 million over the next 3 years to help with prosecuting.
Detroit Isn’t the Only City With Untested Rape Kits
Untested rape kits are not something that would only happen in Detroit. Detroit is often referred to as one of the most dangerous cities in America, even though the Police Chief is working hard to change that.
Nationally there is has been 400,000 identified rape kits. Here is a list of where some of those kits were found as reported by the Detroit Free Press.
- Cleveland: nearly 4,000.
- Las Vegas: over 4,000.
- Dallas: 4,144 – testing is in progress.
- Memphis: has more than 12,000.
- Toledo: 2,300 – testing is in progress.
- Tulsa, Oklahoma: over 3,700.
Mariska Hargitay, an actress who plays a sergeant in the sex crimes police unit on Law and Order, is also a supporter of Kym Worthy’s efforts. She had this to say at a press conference in Detroit.
“Bottom line is rape kit [sic] can bring justice,” Hargitay continued. “And justice, for so many survivors, can bring healing. And testing rape kits is vital to keeping rapists off the streets. And yet, hundreds of thousands of these kits don’t even make it to the crime labs.”
If you would like to donate to Enough SAID, you can do that at www.crowdrise.com.