Kits for survivors of sexual assault are assembled by Assistance League of Indianapolis volunteers

Posted at 1:59 AM, May 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-04 01:59:21-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- After a victim of sexual assault reports the crime their clothes are taken as evidence, often leaving them more vulnerable.

"If they are in a hospital and they have to leave their clothes for evidence, then they wouldn't have anything else to wear except for a hospital gown," said Carol Rader, Assistance League volunteer.

That's where volunteers with the Assistance League of Indianapolis come in, assembling 'assault survivor kits'.

Pants, shirts, undergarments, and hygiene supplies that will be delivered to 22 central Indiana hospitals and domestic violence shelters. The kits will be given to survivors of sexual assault, adults and children, when the clothes they arrived in at the hospital need to be left behind.

"So their option is to deny us to collect evidence that is important to helping their case come together... or they could leave in paper scrubs from the emergency room," said Cindy Wathen, Center of Hope at St. Vincent.

Wathen says Center of Hope saw more than 750 patients last year and they rely solely on the Assistance League's kits to clothe those survivors.

"And they're able to take back something new, something that wasn't involved in that assault. Some clothing that wasn't worn during their biggest trauma in their life potentially... that's powerful," said Wathen.


The kits are one of the key projects of the Assistance League, an all-volunteer organization.

"We are all about being the assistance that a lot of people need for whatever is going on in their lives," said Susie Moore, Assistance League volunteer.

They purchase the items through donations and grants. The volunteers expect to assemble and deliver more than 1,800 assault survivor kits this year.

"I'm a retired teacher, so I don't want to teach anymore. But this is something I can do that I enjoy," said Rader.

If you'd like to help with the assault survivor kits, by volunteering or donating, click here to contact the Assistance League of Indianapolis to learn how to join their cause.

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