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Rochester Hills — Tiffany Piggee-Taylor remembers her rape 12 years ago like it was yesterday.

Piggee-Taylor says she was drugged, followed home and sexually assaulted by a coworker in Georgia in 2003. Her attacker was not charged even though he gave a written statement implicating himself, she said.

Though the pain and ordeal remain fresh in her mind, the 38-year-old Rochester Hills resident and business owner says she is on a journey to recovery and has found a way to help others this month during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

"I am strong enough to revisit it and to see if I can help other people," Piggee-Taylor said.

The owner of ME Beauty waxing salon in Rochester has begun a panty drive and will donate the underwear to the Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan, which puts together Assault Survivor Kits for rape victims. The kits are given out at the hospital to victims where they are treated and tested after a report of an assault.

People are being asked to drop off the underwear, preferably Hanes Her Way or Fruit of the Loom brands, to Piggee-Taylor's salon, 309 S. Main, Suite 250, through the end of the month. She's hoping to get 1,000 pair. Donors will get a $5 coupon that can be used in May at her salon.

Piggee-Taylor knows the significance of the clothing kits firsthand after she received one following her rape.

"(Police) take your clothes and keep them as evidence," she said.

The kits, also given out when a victim's clothing is destroyed by an attacker, include a top, pants, underwear, sports bra, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb and shampoo. The kits are assembled and distributed when needed, officials for the Assistance League said.

"Hopefully, our kits will be a helpful step in the healing process for a survivor after their devastating trauma," said Marjorie DiLiddo, vice president of marketing and communications for the Assistance League.

Nearly 13,000 Assault Survivor Kits have been given out in Michigan since 1994. In the past two years, the kits have been delivered to hospitals and trauma centers.

The Assistance League, a nonprofit and volunteer organization, was founded in 1993. Its goal is to clothe, feed, educate and help children and adults through community organizations. It operates the ReSale Connection in downtown Rochester. The store, staffed by volunteers, sells women's clothing and home items.

bwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2027

How to donate

Hanes Her Way or Fruit of the Loom underwear can be dropped off at ME Beauty, 309 S. Main, Suite 250, Rochester, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For information, call (248) 413-7333.

For information about donating to the Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan's efforts to fund the Assault Survivor Kit, call the League at (248) 656-0414.

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