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Detroit Rape Kit Project

The prevalence of sexual assault in the United States is staggering. According to a study conducted by the National Victim Center one in four females and one in six males will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, sexual assault is the violent crime least often reported to law enforcement. Given that the crime is greatly under-reported, the prevalence of sexual assault is probably also grossly underestimated.

In 2009, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy's office discovered 11,341 sexual assault kits in a Detroit Police Department property storage facility. The kits, which were collected between 1984 and 2009, were never submitted for DNA testing. A sexual assault kit is the DNA taken from a victim's body after a sexual assault. Each one of the untested kits represents a man, woman or child who suffered a violent assault and underwent a lengthy and physically invasive evidentiary collection procedure in an effort to apprehend his or her assailant. If tested, a sexual assault kit can identify an unknown assailant, affirm a victim's version of events, discredit a suspect's story and connect evidence to serial rapists. In contrast, an untested kit can often mean justice denied for victims.

Faced with 11,341 untested sexual assault kits, Prosecutor Worthy applied for, and received, a grant from the National Institute of Justice, the research arm of the Department of Justice. Under the grant, a group of multi-disciplinary stakeholders, along with sexual assault researchers from Michigan State University, meet regularly to determine how thousands of sexual assault kits came to be warehoused, how to move forward and how to ensure that the problem does not happen again. Prosecutor Worthy is dedicated to ensuring that: every kit is tested: every case is investigated; and that a victim-centered approach to the investigation of sexual assault is implemented at a state and national level.
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Press Release - April 18, 2018 - I AM EVIDENCE - HBO Documentary Premiered April 15, 2018 at the DIA
Press Release - April 18, 2018 - I AM EVIDENCE - HBO Documentary Premiered April 15, 2018 at the DIA
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
The HBO documentary tells the story of four survivors whose rape kits went untested for years.
February 28, 2017 - I AM EVIDENCE -  Documentary Film Premieres on HBO on April 16, 2018
February 28, 2017 - I AM EVIDENCE - Documentary Film Premieres on HBO on April 16, 2018
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
HBO Documentary film about four survivors whose rape kits went untested for years.
Detroit Regional Chamber - Detroit Policy Conference - Prosecutor Worthy's Remarks
Detroit Regional Chamber - Detroit Policy Conference - Prosecutor Worthy's Remarks
Monday, March 13, 2017
Detroit Regional Chamber - Detroit Policy Conference - Prosecutor Worthy's Remarks
2016 September - Wayne County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force FAQs
2016 September - Wayne County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force FAQs
Monday, October 03, 2016
2016 September - Wayne County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force FAQs
Prosecutor Worthy To Host First Detroit Sexual Assault Summit
Prosecutor Worthy To Host First Detroit Sexual Assault Summit
Friday, September 23, 2016
On Monday, September 26, 2016 through Wednesday, September 28, 2016, Prosecutor Kym Worthy will be hosting the first Detroit Sexual Assault Kit Summit at the Detroit Renaissance Center.
2016 March - Wayne County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force FAQs
2016 March - Wayne County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force FAQs
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
2016 March - Wayne County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force FAQs
Wayne County Executive Identifies $1 Million To Support Crucial Phase Of Backlogged Rape Kits
Wayne County Executive Identifies $1 Million To Support Crucial Phase Of Backlogged Rape Kits
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
Wayne County Executive Warren Evans Has Identified Funding to Help Investigate Backlogged Rape Kits; Provides Office Space in Guardian Building for Sexual Assault Kit Task Force Agents' Investigative Work
African American 490 Challenge - Broad Coalition Rallies Around Efforts To Fund Rape Kit Testing, Investigations
African American 490 Challenge - Broad Coalition Rallies Around Efforts To Fund Rape Kit Testing, Investigations
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
African American 490 Challenge for Enough SAID Seeks to Raise over $500,000
United States Department Of Justice Announces Grants For The Eastern District Of Michigan To Address Backlog Of Untested Sexual Assault Kits
United States Department Of Justice Announces Grants For The Eastern District Of Michigan To Address Backlog Of Untested Sexual Assault Kits
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Michigan agencies will receive almost $5 million in federal grants to address the backlog of untested sexual assault kits and related issues.
Gov. Snyder: Michigan State Police Completes Testing Of Shelved Sexual Assault Evidence Kits In Wayne Co.
Gov. Snyder: Michigan State Police Completes Testing Of Shelved Sexual Assault Evidence Kits In Wayne Co.
Wednesday, September 02, 2015
Project 8000 culminates five years of intense efforts from MSP, AG, Prosecutor Worthy and many others to obtain justice for survivors
Why Haven't 70,000 Rape Kits Been Tested For DNA?
Why Haven't 70,000 Rape Kits Been Tested For DNA?
Monday, July 20, 2015
2015 June - Wayne County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force FAQs
2015 June - Wayne County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force FAQs
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
2015 June - Wayne County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force FAQs
State Of Michigan Attorney General Schutte, Worthy, Etue, Craig Announce New Resources For Sexual Assault Evidence Kit Cases
State Of Michigan Attorney General Schutte, Worthy, Etue, Craig Announce New Resources For Sexual Assault Evidence Kit Cases
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Schuette, Worthy, Etue, Craig Announce New Resources for Sexual Assault Evidence Kit Cases
Effort over untested Detroit rape kits sparks changes
Effort over untested Detroit rape kits sparks changes
Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Prosecutor Kym Worthy said testing had identified 127 serial assaults. About 59 percent yielded matches in a federal DNA databank, with at least 87 serial rapists identified and 10 convictions.
Enough Said Collaboration To Secure Justice For Victims Represented In Untested Rape Kits
Enough Said Collaboration To Secure Justice For Victims Represented In Untested Rape Kits
Tuesday, January 06, 2015
Unique Public Private Partnership and Special Fundraising Campaign Announced at January 6, 2015 Press Event
Enough Said Fact Sheet
Enough Said Fact Sheet
Tuesday, January 06, 2015
Enough SAID Sexual Assault Fact Sheet
New York County District Attorney Vance Announces Up To $35 Million in Funding to Help Eliminate Rape Kit Backlog in Cities
New York County District Attorney Vance Announces Up To $35 Million in Funding to Help Eliminate Rape Kit Backlog in Cities
Friday, November 14, 2014
New York County District Attorney Vance Announces Up To $35 Million in Funding to Help Eliminate Rape Kit Backlog in Cities
More serial rapists identified after Detroit rape kits tested
More serial rapists identified after Detroit rape kits tested
Thursday, November 13, 2014
WDIV 4 - Thousands of untested rape kits, millions of dollars needed to test them and a prosecutor who won't stop until the work is done. Prosecutor Kim Worthy broke down the up-to-date numbers at Thursday night's police commission meeting.
Press Packet For The March 10, 2014 Proposed Sexual Assault Kit Evidence Submission Act Press Conference
Press Packet For The March 10, 2014 Proposed Sexual Assault Kit Evidence Submission Act Press Conference
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Press Packet For The March 10, 2014 Proposed Sexual Assault Kit Evidence Submission Act Press Conference
Prosecutor leads effort to test long-abandoned rape kits, brings justice to victims
Prosecutor leads effort to test long-abandoned rape kits, brings justice to victims
Friday, February 15, 2013
NBC News - From Chicago to Los Angeles to Houston, cities are grappling with thousands of untested rape kits. Through a national grant, Worthy is attempting to set a protocol for how other states tackle backlogged rape kits.