LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4)– In Colorado, the response to victims of sexual trauma includes an abundance of resources, however a local woman says there is something missing. Irene Wilke discovered the need after her daughter was assaulted.
“So what happens is they go to the police station and the hospital and their clothes are taken into evidence,”
Wilke was called to the emergency room late at night, she was left rushing around to find something for her daughter to wear, she wants to make sure no one else has that experience.
Which is where her project ‘AFTER’ comes in.
“It’s about the next step, you know moving forward,” she said.
Wilke is working to collect new women’s clothes and shoes to be donated. Her goal is to work with local hospitals and police departments so that in these cases they have items on hand.
Right now she says its often responders or advocates using their own resources.
“There’s a lot of kind compassionate people in the system that it gets figured out, but why have that struggle,” Wilke said.
In a letter her daughter who asked not to be identified explained what the moments in the hospital were like for her and the gratitude she has for her mother.
I am excited and grateful that my mother has founded this organization to help those who have been through the traumatic experience of sexual assault and violence.
As a survivor myself I know personally how hard it can be to pick yourself up every day after and continue to living your life.
I can say with utter certainty that without the support of people like my mom I would not have been able to get through it.
Coming out of the examination is an especially jarring process, as you literally have nothing on you anymore and feel incredibly vulnerable.
For Wilke the hope is that along with clothing she can spread a message.
“That she is important, she matters,” she said through tears.
Wilke says they would prefer to collect mostly new clothing, but will not turn down gently used clothes.
If you would like to help you can find registry’s both at Walmart and Target, by searching for AFTER.
A drop of site has also been established at the Hope Crossing Church in Littleton.