Detroit Launches Fundraising Initiative to Address Rape Kit Backlog

On Tuesday, January 6th 2015, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, Detroit Crime Commission, and Michigan Women’s Foundation announced a new public-private collaboration for justice: Enough SAID (Sexual Assault in Detroit). Enough SAID is an independent project that will work to advocate for public dollars and also fundraise in the private sector, using the money to address the backlog of over 11,000 untested rape kits in Detroit.

In 2009, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office discovered a backlog of 11,341 untested rape kits in a Detroit Police Department storage facility. Since committing to clear their backlog, Detroit has seen staggering results in just the first 2,000 kits tested. As Prosecutor Kym Worthy alluded to in her remarks, “We know that rapists attack an average of 11 times and are associated with a myriad of other criminal offenses.” Explaining the need for increased funding, Worthy stated, “Having the resources to take these criminals off the street, and stop them from committing further violent crimes, will ensure a safer Detroit for all.” Enough SAID’s goal of raising $10 million private sector dollars will help make Worthy’s goal of a safer Detroit a tangible reality.

The Michigan Women’s Foundation will assume leadership for the fundraising campaign, and then grant dollars to the Detroit Crime Commission, who will facilitate the establishment of a Cold Case Unit. 100% of the money raised by Enough SAID will go towards addressing the rape kit backlog in a complete and comprehensive manner; the funding will allow the entire backlog of kits to be tested at a forensic lab (at a significantly reduced rate) and will support increased resources to handle the volume of investigation and resulting prosecution.

Enough SAID has already raised over $750,000 in private donations, and has already received initial support from major players such as the National Institute of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, the State of Michigan, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

To learn more about the Enough SAID campaign and how you can support the movement, please go here.

- By Vivian Long and Sophia Schrager, January 13, 2015

ENDTHEBACKLOG is a program of the Joyful Heart Foundation to shine a light on the backlog of untested rape kits throughout the United States. Our goal is to end this injustice by conducting groundbreaking research identifying the extent of the nation’s backlog and best practices for eliminating it, expanding the national dialogue on rape kit testing through increased public awareness, engaging communities and government agencies and officials and advocating for comprehensive rape kit reform legislation and policies at the local, state and federal levels. We urge you to learn more about the backlog, where it exists and why it matters. We invite you to take action and support efforts to test rape kits. Help us send the message that we must take rape seriously.

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END THE BACKLOG is a JOYFUL HEART FOUNDATION initiative and a proud supporter of