The donated clothing will be used by victims whose clothing must be kept as evidence after the women are examined, according to the Ocean County Prosecutor's office.
The Soroptimist International chapter of the Central Jersey Coast gave the sweat suits to Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato at the Ocean County Child Advocacy Center, 7 Hadley Ave., Toms River, on Monday.
The donated clothing will be used by victims following a forensic medical examination, when the forensic nurse examiner collects the victims' clothing for evidence, according to a prepared statement from the prosecutor's office.
"The victim will be immediately given clothing to wear for the remainder of the difficult examination process and to wear home," the statement says.
“This is a tremendously generous and welcome donation,” said Coronato in the statement. “It will go a long way to easing the trauma suffered by sexual assault victims. I commend the members of Soroptimist International for their tireless efforts and selfless generosity.”
On average the Special Victims' Unit investigates 300 cases annually, the statement says. Sexual assault examinations take place in every hospital in Ocean County.
During the course of an investigation, it may be necessary to collect the victim's clothing as part of evidence.
So far this year, 186 cases were handled by the Special Victims Unit, of which approximately 80 percent of the victims were provided with clothing donated previously, the statement says.
The unit has made the clothing program part of their case response for seven years now. The fact that there is replacement clothing, which is immediately accessible to the victims, is just one of the steps taken to aid the victims throughout the process.
Soroptimist International of the Central Jersey Coast was originally chartered as SI of Lakewood on June 8, 1960 and formally changed its name in September 2010 to more accurately reflect the geographic region in which they serve.
Today the group has grown to an international organization for business and professional women who volunteer in their communities.
Almost 41,000 Soroptimists in 19 countries and territories contribute time and financial support to community-based and international projects benefiting women and girls.
"Soroptimists are women at their best working to help other women to be their best. Locally, they are neighbors, business owners, teachers, attorneys,bankers, nurses, real estate agents, retirees, CEO’s, managers, etc.," the statement says.
A majority of the money raised by the group goes right back into the community where the members work and live.
The club has contributed to: CASA of Ocean County; Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore; Ocean/Monmouth Food Bank;Providence House; Children’s Specialized Hospital; Salvation Army; Lakewood High School Senior Prom; Lakewood Girls are Great Day Camp; Make-A-Wish Foundation; American Cancer Society Relay for Life; American Heart Association; Autism Carnival at Children’s Specialized Hospital; sponsored Head Start Families at Holidays; sponsored “Survivor’s Dinner” at Providence House; Habitat for Humanity; “Chrissy’s Closet” (providing prom dresses for high school girls) and Christmas in July project.