DETROIT (WJBK) - Since they were first discovered in an abandoned warehouse, the push has been on to get thousands of rape kits finally tested. Now, that initiative is getting a big boost from dozens of local husbands, fathers, sons and brothers.
The men and businesses are joining the African American 490 Challenge, which last year urged black women, individually and collectively, to raise multiples of $490 -- the cost of processing a single rape kit. An event to promote the effort is Tuesday.
The African American 490 Challenge is working with Enough SAID (Enough Sexual Assault In Detroit) to raise more than $650,000 by the end of the year for processing untested rape kits. So far, the Detroit Free Press reports $250,000 has been raised.
The story made headlines around the world years ago, when more than 11,000 untested rape kids were found collecting dust in a Detroit Police Department storage unit. Today, about a thousand of those kits still need to be tested.
The men are determined to make that happen, while raising awareness about sexual assault against women.
"It is time for us to stand and to stop this, and make sure that we communicate in our communities and watch our communities that this does never, ever happen again," Eric Pate with the AA490 Challenge said Tuesday.
"It's heartbreaking. How does that happen in a city - in my hometown? Those are the things that cross my mind,
"This is not just a women's problem," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said. "Everyone has a sister, a mother, an aunt, daughters that can be affected by all of this."
The testing of the rape kits has led to 43 convictions so far, and Worthy says more are in the works.
If you'd like to help the cause and donate money, you can do so at www.aa490challenge.org.