In a recent TED talk, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy delivers an eye-opening and powerful speech on rape kit tracking and how her office helped ensure that rape victims would be ensured the justice they deserve.
Beginning with a startling discovery made by one of her coworkers, Worthy opens her speech by telling the story of the 11,341 abandoned and untested rape kits found in a warehouse used by the Detroit police department. Some of those kits remained in that warehouse for over 40 years and each represented a victim that had suffered a violent sexual assault. This was what began Worthy's mission as she set out to ensure no victim would ever have to have justice denied to them.
Worthy underpins the severity of this discovery with stories of actual rape victims in the hopes of revealing how important and terrible this discovery was.
From there, Worthy beings to delve into the initiatives her department spearheaded to address this issue in both past and future cases. Identifying that lack of training, changes in leadership, understaffing, and victim blaming were the key factors in the abandoned rape kits, Worthy developed a system to keep all parties honest and accountable.
Worthy then leads into her work with UPS on this issue and how the multinational package company helped develop a system that would ensure all parties involved in the case were involved in the transportation and assessment of the rape kits. This becomes the main focal point of Worthy's talk on rape kit tracking as it showcases how private industry and technology could be leveraged to directly impact crime and victims that are often forgotten.
Worthy ends her speech on rape kit tracking with both a sense of optimism and concern. She addresses the work that has already been done as impactful but also addresses the 400,000 rape kits lost across the country. However, Worthy then address the ability of technology to solve this issue and implores the audience to understand how technology can be used to solve these cases and bring justice to the people that deserve it.