Documentary “I Am Evidence” to be released next year
About 100 people watched a film Monday at the Kansas Bureau of Investigation highlighting the issue of unsubmitted and untested sexual assault kits.
The event, attended by advocates and other professionals, included a discussion led by Kym Worthy, the Wayne County, Mich., prosecutor. In 2009, Worthy discovered more than 11,000 sexual assault kits in a Detroit police property storage facility. The discussion centered on the value of testing sexual assault kit evidence and establishing a victim-centered approach to sexual assault.
In 2014, law enforcement agencies in Kansas began taking inventory of unsubmitted kits. The Kansas Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, a multidisciplinary working group, also was established.
According to End the Backlog, an initiative of the Joyful Heart Foundation which Hargitay founded, 2,220 kits in Kansas are in the process of being tested. More than 200,000 untested kits have been identified across the nation.
The film screening was sponsored by the KBI, Kansas Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence, and YWCA of Northeast Kansas Center for Safety and Empowerment, in partnership with the Joyful Heart Foundation.
Victims of sexual and domestic violence can reach the Kansas Crisis Hotline at 1-888-363-2287.