Latest News

What happened when we tested thousands of abandoned rape kits in Detroit | Kym Worthy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn

In 2009, 11,341 untested rape kits — some dating back to the 1980s — were found in an abandoned warehouse once used by the Detroit police to store evidence. When this scandal was uncovered, prosecutor Kym Worthy set a plan into action to get justice for the thousands of victims affected. In this powerful, eye-opening talk, Worthy explains how her office helped develop an innovative program to track and test these kits — and calls for a national effort to help solve the problem of stockpiled rape kits.

Check out more TED Talks:

The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more.

Follow TED on Twitter:
Like TED on Facebook:

Subscribe to our channel:

59 Comments on What happened when we tested thousands of abandoned rape kits in Detroit | Kym Worthy

  1. Oh god

  2. Corinna Turner // 17th October 2018 at 2:24 pm // Reply

    WE NEED JUSTICE. IT’S UNACCEPTABLE THAT EVEN ONE MORE RAPE KIT SITS ON A SHELF WITHOUT BEING TESTED.

    • Daniel Hostetler // 17th October 2018 at 4:48 pm // Reply

      Corrina, you are absolutely right. That any person involved in the law enforcement process could allow that to occur is unconscionable. If the numbers that were quoted from the Obama administration are anywhere close to accurate then every citizen in this country ought to be as angry and upset as you are. I was thinking as I sat here watching this video that a perfect source for the money to pay to process those abandoned kits could come for drug asset seizures that many departments are allowed to keep and have often been taken under questionable circumstances. If the law states that any asset forfeiture has to be used to pay for the testing and investigation costs for sexual assault crimes and victim support groups in every community and that it was mandatory to provide the budgetary funds to cover the balance….we could finally see these people behind bars and maybe, finally, a reduction in these types of crime in a national basis. I doubt anyone has the ethical or moral strength to propose such a radical approach to solve this issue but regardless, this must be solved.

    • We need much more false-rape-accusation kits

    • Corinna Turner That type of justice will never ever happen when you have a one rule government in Detroit Detroit has been raped it’s self but on unfettered democratic rule

    • No More BS Please // 17th October 2018 at 7:13 pm // Reply

      +Ron Hahahaha Run a police department into bankruptcy to maybe capture some rapist, genuis.

    • No More BS Please ????

  3. Autumn Cardona // 17th October 2018 at 2:28 pm // Reply

    Nothing ever came from the hundreds of ones found in South bend IN either!!!! Bullshit!!! Trying to keep Notre Dame good looking. We want Justice

  4. Brian Marshall // 17th October 2018 at 2:29 pm // Reply

    Any politician or public employee who violated ANY law/standard procedure – should be sentenced to 10X the maximum penalty when they break the law – and our trust.

    • Brian Marshall kwame, cough, cough.

    • Margaret Lamont // 17th October 2018 at 4:34 pm // Reply

      +Christopher Chapman Tawana ring any bells ? Your changing the subject points to a lack of empathy and suggests you feel men are the ones being victimized. Yes, men are victims of rape too, I know that. You sound like a MRA loon. Would you follow up a story about a young boy being violently raped by a woman with a sob story about no young boy being held accountable for crying wolf ? Incel, Brett Cavanaugh apologist much ?

    • Daniel Hostetler // 17th October 2018 at 5:08 pm // Reply

      +Angry Applesauce what?? Assuming you are right, you’re implication is that either:
      A. We do nothing despite knowing how bad the situation would be choosing to allow those who demonstrate gross ethical failures to remain despite their lack of qualifications to do so or;
      B. Because it’s better to let the status quo remain and accept that the people who commit these crimes should be allowed to walk the streets and create more victims In order for the system to go unaffected and impacted.
      Are you truly suggesting that it would be better to allow individuals who work in the different parts of our criminal justice system to demonstrate such disregard for enforcing the law, to remain part of that system? Are you truly suggesting that such clear moral and ethical failures are acceptable as the means justifying the ends in a broken system?
      If you are then I hope you first ask yourself why you would be ok in that and more importantly, would you be so quick to accept that if you’re daughter, wife or moth
      er was one of those victims? Sadly, you’re reaction is all to common and is a perfect example of what is causing the final stages of destruction of of this country.
      We need to stop allowing those cultures to remain, we must demand the removal of that type of person from the system, regardless of how tough it would be in the short term because not doing it only guarantees this problem will grow until it consumes us all.

    • There’s a maximum penalty (keyword:maximum) for a reason

    • Daniel Hostetler // 17th October 2018 at 5:17 pm // Reply

      +Christopher Chapman for the very small percentage of women who make false claims and accusations, they should be held accountable and prosecuted but that already occurs and has never been shown to be a problem for law enforcement to investigate or prosecute. However, no they shouldn’t be held to those same standards..they are not involved in the law enforcement and criminal justice systems where these decisions are made and where we, as citizens must place our trust, believing that they will do what they have given their word to do…their job, to the best of their ability, to uphold the law no matter how hard it is and to do so in a moral, ethical and lawful way.

  5. Amazing story. And praise to improvements in IS.

  6. Yes I’m Blessed // 17th October 2018 at 2:40 pm // Reply

    Thank you, Kym Worthy, for bringing this extremely important issue to the attention of people who can truly help. This brought back memories and made me cry but I intently watched every second of it because it shows that there are angels that walk among us. Thank you!

  7. Wow that is a terrible story . Well done Ms.Prosecutor(Kym Worthy) . How many other police or prosecutors knew about these but did nothing with that knowledge?
    I will be using UPS for any shipping from now until forever.

  8. IT’S DETROIT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD lets keep on trying our best no matter how long it takes

  9. I’m going out today and buying my wife a gun.

  10. Say it with me. U.P.S.! U.P.S.! U.P.S.!

  11. 11341 x 1500 = 17011500$

    Just in case you want to know how expensive justice is

    • Woopsies Tengo que aprender a tener mas cuidado cuando hablo en internet xD

    • Marie Lastname // 17th October 2018 at 5:53 pm // Reply

      +iogssothoth666

      What do you mean by “not all rape kits need to be tested”? You can’t know in advance which specific rape kits will end up having “been useful”.

      Also, yes, murders need to be investigated. But it’s surely not the case that every penny was used on something more important than testing rape kits. How about not prosecuting marijuana users (or sellers) and prostitutes?

    • the price most likely went down as the science progressed. Still too expensive.

    • Marie Lastname So, should someone be prosecuted for stealing $17 million?

  12. Ramza Beoulves // 17th October 2018 at 2:49 pm // Reply

    I’m 2:13 in and I already need to take a short walk and change my mind.
    EDIT; boy… It gets worse… much worse
    I’m mad. I’m sad. I am disgusted.
    Thanks TED and Kym for this talk. This is life changing. Surely there are ways I can make myself useful in my community

    • mhtinla If Ramza Beoulves is practicing self control and emotional regulation by talking a walk when upset to clear the mind and calm emotions, why do you give the instruction to “control yourself. Don’t let out your anger on someone else.”? Do you read into the original comment somewhere that the commenter was going to harm another person in some way?

    • Bee Keeper When I walk in the streets, I don’t like to encounter someone who’s so SAD and MAD that he has to take a walk.

    • That happened in the United States, this problem is only solved in the United States. There are a lot of other countries in the world. Who knows what will be happening in other parts of the world …

    • mhtinla How is taking a walk a negative? It certainly does not indicate the commenter would be violent or take their emotions out on someone. Lol

    • Jesús IK 36 The problem of rape & forgotten untested rape kits has not yet been “solved” in the USA.

  13. This was absolutely horrifying to watch.

  14. Olivia Nicole // 17th October 2018 at 2:53 pm // Reply

    I have a marketing background! How and where do I sign up to help?

    • Olivia Nicole I suggest contacting your city hall and inquire how you can get involved and help. 🙂

    • I’m sure Detroit Tourism would love your help, marketing it as a haven for the rapey. Anything to get dollars into the city, and fill the tax coffers, so the Democrats can stay in power there.

  15. So a private company solved the problem in a very short time what a public agency literally couldn’t solve for decades.

    • +justdefacts seems kindof like a snide jab againt the u.s. i dunno of you live here or not but we do in fact happen to have views in the middle of extremes

    • Francoise Hembert // 17th October 2018 at 7:09 pm // Reply

      Besides there being no political will , women are just considered inferior, not as important, as men. Im am a 71 year old woman and have had to deal with lower pay despite being as qualified and multilingual compared to my male coworkers. I am happy to no longer having to work but feel for the women who still need to work.

    • When you have a City that is 100% control Democrats you have corruption in government, Same thing if you Vote for the R. Granted I think the D is worst there are no R control Cities that have this kind of Corruption, to the point the city is destroyed. I don’t understand how you can say Raw raw raw vote for the D and it will be alllll better.

    • Francoise Hembert the jobs that involve “opening jars” pay more. There will never be equal pay across the board for that reason. There are exceptions, some women can open jars. And some industries don’t involve manual labour. But there will always be more men in the higher paid physical jobs than women in higher paid physical jobs. It’s nature.

    • Come on, let me hear all you Progressive Liberals say it together out loud: THANK GOODNESS FOR CAPITALISM AND THE PROFIT INCENTIVE! How unbelievably better off we all our both as a society and as individuals because of the TRULY COUNTLESS advances made by the private sector as they’ve been naturally (not forcibly) driven to be efficient, effective, creative, flexible, frugal, and pushing the limits in virtually every field!! How do we use this to our advantage even more in the future?? Keep government OUT of the affairs of private businesses, reduce the tax burden and crippling regulations, dismiss the 98% of lawsuits with their typically-baseless accusations and SJW rhetoric. You want ten-thousand times as much benefit as what was wonderfully discovered and applied by this woman and her department? Then stop demonizing capitalism and stop doing so much to burden them and stifle those amazing advances. Yes, I’m talking to YOU Socialist idiots.

  16. Jasenka Vukelić // 17th October 2018 at 3:05 pm // Reply

    This is unbelieveable!

  17. What a powerful woman, I am so glad that we have people like that who are willing fight for justice.

  18. BlueTigerDreams // 17th October 2018 at 3:48 pm // Reply

    Thank God that there are people like her that are so driven in getting justice to all those forgotten ones.

  19. PlasteredDragon // 17th October 2018 at 4:09 pm // Reply

    Amazing what happens when someone actually does their job.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*


Shares
Share This