20 Years Without Justice
Ardelia Ali was 18-years-old and returning home late one night after working a shift at Burger King. She got off the bus a few blocks from her home when a man ran up behind her and forced her at knife-point into a vacant lot. "Bitch, walk," he said. Even though they walked right past her granny's house, where she saw the light on, Ardelia was too afraid to scream.
In the vacant lot, the man raped her. He told her to count to twenty before leaving, and then he ran off. Ardelia made it to fifteen before running back to her grandmother's house, sobbing.
That night, Ardelia's mother, uncles, and grandmother made sure she got to a nearby hospital, where they conducted a full rape kit. Police officers interviewed her about the crime.
And then nothing happened. Ardelia's rape kit sat on a shelf, untested, for the next two decades. Meanwhile, the man who assaulted her went on to assault others.
In 2009, 11,341 untested rape kits were found in an old police warehouse. That led Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy on a difficult journey that is still unfolding to make sure each person who was victimized would have an opportunity for justice.
This led to Ardelia's rape kit finally being tested, and in 2015, her case was investigated. Her assailant pled guilty and is now serving a 15-30 year sentence.
But the impact of the crime still haunts Ardelia. It's deeply influenced her personal relationships, her body image, and her emotional wellbeing. What Ardelia wants most of all is to see justice -- not only for herself, but for all the people who have been victimized by sexual assault, and especially those whose cases were sidelined.
Today, Ardelia Ali is 38 years old and living in the same Detroit neighborhood where she grew up. She is the single mother of three -- two boys, ages 17 and 13, and a girl, age 8.
For herself, she hopes to become an advocate for others who have struggled like she has. For her kids, she wants to see them have good lives, where they don't have to fear for their safety. But it's hard. In 2014, Ardelia was carjacked. In 2016, her car was stolen from her own street.
HELP ARDELIA AND HER CHILDREN START A NEW LIFE
You can transform the lives of this family. She is so grateful for any support you can offer.
Here's what your support will do:
>> Help Ardelia's family move to a safer neighborhood.
>> Help send Ardelia's 18-year-old son to college in Michigan. He's the first male in her family to graduate high school.
>> Help pay health costs for her oldest son's severe asthma and her 13-year-old son's ADHD treatment.
>> Help pay for equipment and travel costs for her 13-year-old son's football team.