Women’s organizations called on to help address the issue of rape

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Rape awareness is getting some new allies: women's organizations.

"Women's leadership is a key component to any community change that is going to happen," Deborah Clubb, executive director of the Memphis Women's Council, said.

The Sexual Assault Kit Task Force that now oversees testing of all rape kits is honing in on women's groups, asking them to help raise awareness about rape prevention.

Deborah Clubb has a dual role as a member of the Sexual Assault Kit Task Force and head of Memphis Women's Council.

"We have organized over the years such events as walk a mile in her shoes. That's an opportunity for men to walk in high heels or in any woman's shoe if they dare, but to certainly to walk in a statement that what happens to women is wrong and its men that have to help change it," she said.

WREG first uncovered that thousands of rape kits sat on shelves untested for years. Now those kits are being tested, suspects are being charged, and the focus is on using this opportunity to bring rape out of the shadows.

"There are ways to do it through public events, to just putting items in your newsletter," Clubb said.

Bettye Boone is the president of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in Memphis and signed on to rally other women's groups.

"It's not just to raise awareness, but it's also to change policies, laws and procedures as it relates to what happens when a woman gets sexually assaulted," Boone said.

With an issue directly affecting women, the hope is that women will rally to the cause.

The Sexual Assault Kit Task Force also plans to hold additional meetings targeting men's organizations and youth groups.

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