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Detroit’s Kym Worthy turns to football rivalry to fund rape kit testing

By WITW Staff on October 14, 2015

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has made it her mission to see that the 11,341 untested rape kits found in a Detroit police warehouse in 2009 – and the victims they represent – see justice. Last week, she stood with 100 prominent African-American female leaders to announce that over 10,000 of the kits had been tested and 2,616 were linked to DNA data in a national registry. Authorities were able to identify 549 serial rapists, according to representatives of the African-American 490 Challenge, but the cost of testing and investigating the remainder of the kits calls for a cool $25 million. The cost of testing an individual rape kit is $490.

Enter Michigan’s most intense football rivalry. Fans of University of Michigan and Michigan State University have agreed to square off in a race to donate the most money to the cause and Worthy, a U-M alum, will serve as “quarterback” of her alma mater’s team effort. “It’s not just raising money; it’s raising awareness. Maybe a few rape victims who didn’t want to come forward will see this groundswell of support,” she said to Detroit Free Press. Representing MSU as quarterback will be ESPN2’s Jemele Hill, who called the issue of sexual assault and rape a “personal matter.” “My mother is a rape survivor. As a young adult, I was nearly raped,” she said. “Sexual assault remains one of the most under-reported crimes in America, in part, because victims do not have faith in the reporting process.” UM and MSU square off on Saturday, October 17. Team-related donations can be made at the African-American 490 Challenge crowd funding site.

Read the full story at The Detroit Free Press.