Memphis marks anniversary of 'Memphis Says NO MORE' campaign

by: Jeremy Pierre Updated:

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City leaders are celebrating the one year anniversary of the 'Memphis Says NO MORE' campaign, but their celebration has been met with some resistance.

After a year of taking on the testing of 12,000 rape kits, the campaign has been busy working to get sexual assault victims justice.

Dewanna Smith of the Sexual Assault Task Force told FOX13 the campaign has contributed to more than 170 indictments, 88 cases pending and six guilty pleas.

"We've tested more than half of the 12,000-plus kits that are in our possession currently," Smith said.

Whitney Woods says she is a sexual assault victim. She demonstrated with other sexual assault victims who have rape kits that have yet to be tested.

"They have continued to use it to to make it look like they're doing something, but in actuality, the way that they treat cases hasn't really changed," Woods said.

Leaders of the campaign told FOX13 the task of testing each rape kit has been a tedious project, and most of the cases are more difficult to solve than other crimes. 

Woods says the Memphis Police Department should show more urgency to solve rape cases. 

"I was a part of the campaign. I'm on some of the posters for the 'Memphis Says NO MORE' campaign, and even I am still waiting three-and-a-half years later to see any justice," Woods said.

Smith says the campaign is pushing to have the backlog of rape kits completely tested and hopefully get victims justice in a timely manner.

"We want to continue to build on the campaign to raise awareness and to educate victims about the resources that exist in our community to help them," Smith said.

"I would like for our new police director to have experience in dealing with improving responses to rape and domestic violence," Woods added.

Mayor Jim Strickland has issued an executive order for the Sexual Assault Task Force to continue their work, which includes testing every kit and investigating all leads from the kits.