Erykah Badu

By Patrick Kelly.

R&B and soul singer Erykah Badu is doing her part to ensure rapists get convicted. Badu is donating concert proceeds to test over 11,000 backlogged and untested rape kits found in an abandoned Detroit Police Department storage locker in 2009. The forgotten rape kits had been in storage for more than 30 years before being discovered. Each kit costs $490 to process, and the city of Detroit is either unwilling or unable to work them through the system.

Badu performed at Detroit’s Chene Park Amphitheater on August 12th - raising just over $50,000 for Detroit's Enough SAID Campaign (Enough Sexual Assault in Detroit) who is overseeing fundraising efforts.

Badu's support is not going to end with the Detroit show. “I pledge to raise the same amount of money with each show that I do until we raise this money,” Badu said at the post-performance press conference. “[Rape is] a violent crime just like any other violent crime, and it’s illegal, and it’s immoral,” she said. “It’s a violation of human rights. It’s a violation of the human body. It’s a violation of our integrity. It’s a violation of our sexuality. It’s a crime not only against women, but children and boys who are victims as well.”

There are rapists still walking the streets of Detroit (and throughout the United States) who are only free because their victim's rape kits have never been tested. Enough SAID and Erykah Badu are trying to change that in the Detroit area.

Photo: wikimedia/