By SARAH COOK
“Every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted in our country,” said Rosemary Trible at Fear 2 Freedom organization’s “Where Is The Line?” event on April 3 at the University of Mary Washington Goolrick Gymnasium.
Trible, the main speaker at the event, is the founder of Fear 2 Freedom, a global nonprofit dedicated to helping victims of sexual abuse along with raising community awareness. The program focuses on getting the community active in helping sex abuse victims in their journey from “fear to freedom.”
Trible was inspired to help victims of sexual abuse after her own experience with sexual assault. In December 1975, she was hosting a television talk show in Richmond, Va. called Rosemary’s Guestbook, what she calls “a far cry from Oprah.”
After doing a show on sexual assault, she stayed that night at a hotel across the street. At the hotel, she was grabbed by a man who put a gun to her head and said, “Okay, cute talk show host, what do you do with a gun to your head?” After the attack, he threatened her, claiming he knew who she was and where she lived and would kill her if she told anyone. She was 25-years-old at the time of the attack.
Although Trible has been active in helping sexual abuse victims for the past 35 years, this is the first year of the Where Is The Line? campaign, which partners with universities and hospitals to help victims of sexual assault. Currently, eight Virginia hospitals and universities are participating.
At the event, which began at 6:00, volunteers lined up behind tables at the entrance to the gym, handing out fliers to those coming in and directing participants to the refreshment table to grab pizza and drinks while waiting for the event to begin.
One of these volunteers was sophomore Madeline Moravitz, who said the event would be “jaw-dropping.”
Trible referred to the event as “not a service project,” but “a love event.” UMW students showed their love by assembling after-care kits for rape victims, who are regularly forced to leave the hospital in paper scrubs, their clothes kept by the police as evidence. These kits contain a pair of underwear, a shirt and pants, along with toiletries, a journal and a freedom bear. A personal note is places in all of the boxes bearing the campaign’s logo, a soaring dove leaving its tears behind, symbolizing the bondage “falling away.” The colors of the logo are teal, to represent sexual assault, orange, for sex trafficking, and purple, for domestic violence.
Children’s kits also contain paper, crayons and stickers. Once 300 kits were made, participants carried the boxes to two LifeCare ambulances, which transported them to the emergency department of Mary Washington Hospital.
UMW President Richard Hurley addressed the audience briefly at the event. According to Hurley, sexual abuse is a “personal issue.” His sister one of the one-in-three women who have been sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. He also informed the audience that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.