SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) - A vulgar package elicits strong words from Turner Bitton, the Executive Director of the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault. "I don't care if you agree or disagree with the work that we do, there is no place for intimidation."
But that's exactly what UCASA employees say the package was supposed to do, intimidate. News4Utah's Kim Fischer explains what was in that box, and what happened when she went to find the sender.
The team at UCASA works every day to help victims of sexual violence. So when they got an unusual package, out of the blue, they knew exactly what they were dealing with.
"It actually angers me a lot because we spend a lot of time in this work talking about the trauma people experience by doing this work. And then to have somebody take advantage of that and attempt to instill fear in somebody it just infuriates me," Bitton said.
The box was addressed to one employee who we are not naming. Inside the box was a sex toy. A used sex toy.
"That’s not what Utah is about," Bitton said.
There was also a letter made out to that specific employee, saying the sender was her "valentine." the letter claimed the sexually charged item was supposed to help her relax.
"Unidentified packages like this are meant to send fear," Bitton said.
But there was one identifying marker, a name and address on the outside of the box. So I went to that address and knocked and knocked. While I heard someone inside, they never came to the door. So I drove back to the station and called the man's cell phone and left him a message.
"Hi this is Kim Fischer with News4Utah. I just came by your house a short time ago to talk to you about a mysterious package that looks to have come from you to an employee at UCASA."
I never got a response. The staff at UCASA also called police, but, "unfortunately it's a non-criminal matter, anyone can send a package to anyone as long as it's not dangerous," Bitton explained.
However, police say they have the incident on record. Bitton said he just wants people to know this kind of harassment is not ok. It’s not a joke.
"There’s a sense of responsibility that we have to have as a community and really say that violence and intimidation have no place in what would otherwise be a civil discourse," he said. Especially intimidation this vulgar.
If you are ever targeted like this police say do give them a call so they can at least take note of the situation. And if you need someone to talk to you can download the Safe UT App and talk or text with a counselor 24-7. Just click here.