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ODU to Host Nov. 6 Fear 2 Freedom Event to Support Victims of Sexual Abuse

Old Dominion University will join the non-profit organization Fear 2 Freedom to assemble sexual abuse recovery kits that will be distributed to regional hospitals.

The Nov. 6 event will be held in the Big Blue Room of the Ted Constant Convocation Center from 6-7:30 p.m.

During the "Celebration Night" event, students assemble Fear 2 Freedom Kits which are designed to meet the immediate physical, emotional and psychological needs of those affected by sexual assault. Each of the kits include a personal note from the volunteer who put the package together.

The packages, which are described by the organization as "a medical kit for the heart," are meant for distribution to sexual assault victims who have to undergo a PERK examination, at which time their clothing is taken for forensic evidence.

"We cannot and will not condone acts of sexual violence at ODU. We are committed to supporting a culture that respects every student, faculty and staff member," said Old Dominion University first lady Kate Broderick. "We all must continue to work daily at creating and sustaining a culture that values everyone."

Each of the child and adult-specific kits include: a t-shirt and sweatpants, underwear, toiletries and the personal note of support as well as other items such as a "Freedom Bear," storybook, journal or toy and a list of community resources.

"The goal of this event is to raise awareness in a very hands-on fashion. In all the chaos and trouble, it provides a shining light of hope," said La Wanza Lett-Brewington, director of Old Dominion University's Women's Center. "Often times, individuals don't believe they can make a difference and this is one time where people know they can make one."

Fear 2 Freedom is a Virginia-based nonprofit organization that works to educate college students on sexual abuse and restore joy to sexual assault victims. The group was founded in 2011 by Rosemary Trible, the first lady of Christopher Newport University, who was raped at gunpoint in 1975.

In recent years, Fear 2 Freedom has delivered more than 6,000 Fear 2 Freedom kits to women and children affected by sexual abuse and the group currently has university-hospital partnerships across Virginia. In 2014, Fear 2 Freedom introduced a national campaign to make the kits available to hospitals across the country.

"A critical answer to ending sexual assault on college campuses is to educate students on the effects, repercussions and the lifetime impact that sexual assault has on the victim," Trible, the wife of former U.S. senator and current president of Christopher Newport University Paul Trible Jr., said at ODU's inaugural event in 2014.

For more information about the organization, visit the Fear 2 Freedom website. For more information about the event, call the ODU Women's Center at 757-683-4109 or email womenctr@odu.edu. Information about sexual assault prevention and available resources can be found at the ODU S.A.F.E. Program website.

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