A community of men and women has united to help solve thousands of rape kits left unprocessed in Detroit.
The 100 Black Men of Greater Detroit were among those who came together Tuesday in Harmonie Park with the African American 490 Challenge and the Michigan Women’s Foundation to pledge support in funding testing of a backlog of rape kits in Wayne County.
The men are motivated by the phrase “Enough SAID,” which stands for Enough Sexual Assault In Detroit.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, Michigan Women’s Foundation Chief Community Engagement Officer Peg Tallet and campaign organizer Kim Trent are spearheading the 490 Challenge campaign, which derives its name from the $490 cost to investigate a rape kit.
“Any time a woman faces or goes through anything as horrific as rape they expect the law to be behind them. I am behind those women,” Worthy said.
The 490 Challenge campaign runs through December with a goal of raising $657,090. So far, 10,000 rape kits have been tested, with 1,341 awaiting attention, according to Michigan State Police figures, news conference organizers said.
The 490 Challenge is partnered and supported by churches, sororities, businesses and companies. Donations have contributed to the arrests of 756 serial rapists — those who raped more than once. Of those, more than 50 have committed rape 10-15 times, said Worthy.
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SOURCE: Detroit Free Press, Lauren Pankin and Carrimia Owens