One Less partners with Fear 2 Freedom to incite change

Celebration Day invites students to make kits for sexual assault survivors

lffear2freedomcourtesyjackiesiegel

Fear 2 Freedom and One Less partnered to assemble care kits for survivors of sexual assault. 

Fear 2 Freedom — a global non-profit founded in 2011 that assembles kits for survivors of sexual assault — brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “big things often come in small packages.” For the third consecutive year, the organization partnered with the University to provide much needed resources to survivors of sexual assault.

Every two minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. What most people do not consider is the immediate aftermath of sexual assaults. When survivors arrive at the hospital, their clothes are removed from them and kept as evidence for the Physical Evidence Recovery Kit exam, forcing them to leave the hospital dressed in only paper scrubs.

Upon seeing this, Rosemary Trible, founder and president of Fear 2 Freedom, began to assemble Fear 2 Freedom kits — bags containing sweatpants, t-shirts, underwear, toiletries, a pen and a pencil to start a journal and toys for children’s kits.

What started with one kit expanded into an organization, and to date, Fear 2 Freedom has generated 13,000 kits and partnered with 18 universities and 30 hospitals to comfort survivors.

“It’s a difficult and darker subject, and we want to bring light to the subject and to bring something positive that you can actually do to be a tangible difference on the campus,” Trible said.

Along with the necessities compiled in the kits comes the Freedom Bear, a counseling tool that not only lends its soft surface to the victim but symbolizes the ephemerality of pain.

The Freedom Bears have a torn heart, and within the hole resides sheets of dissolving paper. Survivors are encouraged to write the name of the person who harmed them and place it into the heart of the bear. As they heal, gaining courage and strength, they can remove the paper from inside the bear and place it into water, and at first the name disappears, then the whole paper dissolves.

“Victims have said that that little symbol has made all the difference to them to believe that their past does not have to control their future,” Trible said. “It reminds them that they don’t have to be stuck as a victim forever.”

Fear 2 Freedom partnered with One Less, a sexual assault education group on Grounds, and arranged an assembly line in the Newcomb Ballroom to call on students to make as many kits as they could.

Fourth-year College student Ellen Crooks, One Less chair of continuing education, said she believes the partnership with Fear 2 Freedom is beneficial to the University.

“When you encounter different organizations, non-profits or CIOs, you’re always going to meet different language that they’re using, so sometimes the biggest step in coordinating with someone is finding a language that you can both stand on, especially when talking about a sensitive issue like sexual assault,” Crooks said. “It provides us with new tools to reach people in our communities that we hadn’t tapped into yet.”

Collaborating with Fear 2 Freedom evoked enthusiasm in many of the One Less educators by guaranteeing a tangible way to make a difference in survivors’ lives.

“This is so hands-on. You have a guarantee of meeting a need somewhere, and that’s an instant gratification that sexual assault prevention really doesn’t ever experience,” Crooks said. “Doing this, it feels like steps being made that can engage people that don’t really know how to join the conversation.”

Dean of Students Allen Groves encouraged attendees to sign a pledge at the event, promising to combat sexual assault on Grounds and to “be the change.”

“It’s a terrific opportunity to make a real difference for anyone of any age who’s been a victim of sexual assault at a time that they feel the most vulnerable,” Groves said. “You could see the enthusiasm. It was wonderful.”

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