The RAPE/DETROIT Project is Closed Down


Regrettably, the effort formally known as “The RAPE/DETROIT Project” was forced into early retirement last weekend when the donation box was removed from its place at The Burton Theatre and returned to management, empty.

Earlier this month I initiated a campaign to raise awareness about the 10,000-count backlog of unprocessed rape kits that was discovered in the Detroit Police Department crime lab when it closed in 2008. The plan was to raise enough money to purchase “Rape Detroit,” a wearable artwork by Nate Czarling, and for me to wear the t-shirt each day throughout December to bring attention to the cause. Thank you to those who engaged me personally and made contributions. Your feedback showed me that there is enough concern and support to continue raising awareness.

Despite this obstacle, The RAPE/DETROIT Project achieved its larger goal of generating an activist-minded network committed to this issue. Together, we are working to raise awareness, gather and share information, and take action at a larger scale. We hold an open invitation to those individuals and entities interested in collaboration and contribution. Contact for details.

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  • Mike

    I think your problem may have been with the marketing aspect of the project. The name conjured the wrong images maybe? Maybe something a little less over the top would have worked better. Or perhaps something that explained your intentions better. RAPE/DETROIT kind of sounds like you want to RAPE DETROIT. Something like Prevent Detroit Rapes From Going Unpunished…a little long but you get the idea. Anyhow, good luck with your next project and don’t give up! You are doing something that matters.

    • Boss Fader

      I agree with you that the whole thing turned people off and that the idea was not clear (people thought it was a one-time deal, when really it was supposed to go throughout the month of November). I also didn’t exert the marketing force that I wanted to during the project’s run due to a lack of communication between the artist and I (there was an idea afloat that I was stealing his intellectual property by associating his shirt with my cause, and I became timid as I didn’t want to disrespect him or cause any trouble for The Burton).

      Thanks for your well-wishing on my next move, and keep your eyes peeled!

  • Bronwen Thompson

    What a sad commentary. Will the last person to leave Detroit please turn out the light?

    • Boss Fader

      I think DTE will be on top of that one way before the last person leaves.

  • Boss Fader

    The effort formally known as “The RAPE/DETROIT Project” was scaled to acheive high-impact local attention with low resources, thus there is not much money involved. However, there is some money involved and I want to be absolutely clear about what happened:

    –I personally witnessed people place money in the donation box while the project was still active.

    –The donation box was taken down from the wall without my knowledge or consent.

    –No one saw the donation box being removed from the wall.

    –When the donation box was returned to The Burton Theatre, the donation money was gone.

    Any obscurity in the post in which I announced the project’s early termination reflects my own apprehension that my writing would imply immoral actions or a responsible party.

  • Stacy Lukasavitz

    I am very sorry to hear about this, Jane, yet sadly, not surprised. :-(

    I can only hope that whoever took the money that I and others put in the box truly needed it, and that our donations did not go in vain.

    We’ll find a way to do this still. Ping me, you know how to find me.