by Omar Ross, news editor
On Sept. 21, U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and a bipartisan group of senators joined survivors and advocates from Fear 2 Freedom (F2F) and the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) to shed light on the continuing epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses.
Since 2015, Sen. Warner has been a noted advocate for fighting sexual assault on college campuses. Some of his key provisions include: establishing new campus resources, requiring fairness in campus disciplinary processes, ensuring minimum training standards for on-campus personnel, creating new transparency requirements, having campuses coordinate with law enforcement, and enforcing title IX penalties and stiffer penalties for Clery Act violations.
“It’s time we empower students and end this culture that has fostered this epidemic. Our legislation does just that, by encouraging prevention and demanding more transparency, consistency and accountability from universities nationwide,” said Sen. Warner. “As the father of three college-age daughters, I am heartbroken and appalled by the stories we’ve heard about the prevalence of campus assault and the uneven way many universities have chosen to respond to it. It’s time to put a stop to these crimes once and for all.”
The founder of F2F, Rosemary Trible, is a sexual assault survivor that founded the non-profit organization in 2011 and is the wife of former U.S. Senator Paul Trible (R-VA). Trible is an advocate for empowering, healing and giving hope to other survivors of sexual violence. After being sexually assaulted, Mrs. Trible found out that when victims receive a Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK) exam, all of the clothing is kept for evidence and they are released in disposable hospital-issued clothing. F2F works with universities, hospitals and community organizations to provide Aftercare Kits to survivors of sexual assault. Each Aftercare Kit contains clothing, toiletries, a pen and journal for adults and a toy for children, a list of resources, a stuffed animal that serves as a counseling tool and a handwritten note of encouragement. To date, F2F has provided over 13,000 F2F Kits to sexual assault survivors.
“Today you are a change. As you change your hearts, this nation, and the lives of sexual assault victims, you are the solution. Also, as you make a tangible difference in the lives of the sexually assaulted, and to change this world, it takes one person at a time,” said Trible.
Along with Sen. Warner and Trible, Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Dean Heller (R-NV), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) and Gary Peters (D-MI) all aim to tackle the issue of sexual assaults on campuses. They have been examining federal, state and local policies to help further protect and empower students.