Fear 2 Freedom Prepares Sexual Abuse Recovery Kits for Victims
The third annual Fear 2 Freedom event at Old Dominion University was held on Oct. 5 to help collect necessities and personal items for victims of sexual assault. The number ‘two’ in Fear 2 Freedom stands for the somber fact that every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted in the U.S. One in five female students are sexually assaulted during their time in college and one in thirty three men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. It is an issue that could affect any one, and its importance is tremendous.
In 1975, Rosemary Trible, CNU First Lady and Founder of Fear 2 Freedom, was held at gunpoint and raped. Her attacker was never found, but Trible has now dedicated the rest of her life to helping victims of sexual assault.
“He not only tore my body but he stole my joy. I have dedicated the rest of my life to be a voice for the voiceless. Fear 2 Freedom’s mission is to redeem and restore those sexually assaulted, bringing them hope and healing. The second part is to empower students to be that change,” Trible said.
When a sexual assault victim is examined, all of their clothes must be taken for evidence. After these traumatic experiences these people are walking out alone, in paper gowns. The Fear 2 Freedom kits help provide for these victims in their biggest time of need.
The packages are “medical kits for the heart” that include necessities like clothing and toiletries, as well as personal items like a journal or coloring book, a personal handwritten note from volunteers, and most importantly, the “freedom bear.”
The teddy bear is unique, with a hole in its heart and ten pieces of paper on its back. The victims can write the name of their attacker, their fears or anything they want on these papers and shove them in the little hole. Once they grow stronger they can throw the paper into water and watch it dissolve, along with their fears.
”It is important because it’s a way for students to get involved, and this is a community service initiative. Each of these kids is able to give back to survivors,” Lawanza Lett-Brewington, Director of the Women’s Center, said.
Throughout student’s college experience at ODU, they are offered numerous opportunities to help prevent sexual assault on campus. First year programming begins immediately. Educating students about this critical issue as soon as they come in and continuing programs such as Fear 2 Freedom creates a layered effect of learning.
“On a college campus I feel like women are more likely to be in the situation where they could be sexually assaulted or raped. I feel like the need to highlight the importance of spreading the word and awareness about this is great and that is why I am here” Alessandro Penalvel, a pledge of Theta Chi, said.
Speakers for the event discussed their organizations and the importance of this event. Afterwards, everyone assembled kits with their own personal note to a survivor. It was a fun and social event, but for a cause of great importance.
Students are urged to take the Fear 2 Freedom pledge: “I pledge to help end sexual assault on my campus, I will stand firm to protect my fellow classmates on and off campus.”
There are many ways to get involved and countless events and programs to do so. This event has been a part of the month long Red Flag Campaign against abusive relationships. There are over 60 programs annually on topics such as sexual violence, dating violence and stalking. This comprehensive campaign includes empowerment and leadership activities such as Green Dot training, self-defense classes and bystander intervention.