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MSP Posts Across the State are Supporting Victims of Sexual Assault

MSP Calumet Post is joining their brothers and sisters around the state to raise awareness for sexual assault. The Purses with a Purpose campaign began in 2019 at MSP’s Cadillac Post and has grown to become a statewide effort. Trooper Brian Poyhonen is in charge of the Calumet Post’s campaign, and says that collection boxes have been set up throughout the copper country for people to drop off lightly used or new purses.

Stuff like notebooks and pens, different hygiene products, candy, hand sanitizer, socks. Something , that if a woman has to be in a shelter for an extended period of time. She has some basic needs met. If people are willing to donate items, then we are collecting through April 30th. – Trooper Brian Poyhonen, MSP Calumet Post

Trooper Poyhonen pointed out that sexual assault is a hard subject for many to talk about. And MSP hopes that campaigns like this can give hope to victims that are struggling. He also notes that there are a number of resources in the area for survivors.

Yeah, Dial Help in Houghton is a huge resource for victims of any situation, including sexual assault. They have peopleon hand there 24 hours a day that are willing to speak with victims. And to help them through these experiences that they’ve been going through. It’s a hard topic to talk about, but if you have a friend that you know may have been involved in a sexual assault. And it is obviously affecting them in a traumatic way, talking about it is the first step. – Trooper Brian Poyhonen, MSP Calumet Post

The first step to healing is talking about what happened, after that it is up to the victim to decide if law enforcement needs to be involved. A main goal to Purses with a Purpose is to start a dialogue with victims and help them become more comfortable speaking to officers about an assault. Donations can be dropped off at the calumet post, Houghton and Baraga County Sheriff offices, Dial Help and Unite Mental Health and Wellness. Purses with a Purpose donations can be made all month, as troopers will collect all donations on April 30th. Other items the state police are asking for include;

Lightly used or new purses, clothing like sweatpants or sweatshirts, t-shirts, sports bras, socks, coloring books, notebooks, pencils,hygiene products like lotions and hand creams, lip balm, soap, shampoo, hand sanitizer, tooth paste and toothbrushes, feminine hygiene products.

Drop of locations:

MSP Calumet Post – 55195 Hwy US-41, Calumet, MI 49913

Houghton County Sheriff – 403 E. Houghton Ave. Houghton, MI, 49931

Baraga County Sheriff – 940 Hwy US-41 L’Anse, MI 49946

Unite Mental Health and Wellness – 1014 College Ave, Houghton, MI, 49931

Dial Help – 609 Sheldon Ave, Houghton, MI 49931

Other resources to S.A. victims in the western Upper Peninsula are Dial Help, Unite Mental Health and Wellness, the Barbara Kettle Gundluch Shelter Home, Center for Student Mental Health and Well-being at Michigan Tech (MTU Students only), Dial Help provides services to Finlandia University students, Copper Country Mental Health, and Upper Peninsula Human Trafficking Task Force

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