Assistance League has had a long-standing and successful collaboration with the Minnesota Hospital Association(MHA). Maggie Harris, Assistance League Assault Survivor Kit® Chair, (left) is pictured with Minnesota Hospital Association liaison, Sarah Bohnet, (right) a visual communications specialist/division assistant. Assistance League members gathered at MHA in November to pack 425 kits. Twice a year Assistance League volunteers replenish the kits with sweatpants, long sleeve T-shirts, underwear, socks, and toiletries.
When individuals come to Minnesota hospital emergency rooms to seek care after being sexually assaulted, they often go home in new clothing provided by Assistance League. This gift of clothing means a great deal to survivors who often do not have family members available to bring a change of clothes. No one ever plans on being sexually assaulted, so they don’t have anything to wear after leaving their clothing at the hospital for evidence. Before this initiative began, victims were given heavy-weight paper pants and shirts to wear home. This indignity added to the victimization of being sexually assaulted. Assistance League hopes to give the message to survivors that they are cared for and cared about. These kits are free to all hospital emergency rooms throughout the state of Minnesota.
MHA distributes kits to hospital emergency rooms, pays to ship the kits and also provides administrative assistance and storage space. Assistance League has packed 35,974 kits since the inception of the program.