On Tuesday, April 16, 2013, the Jefferson College of Health Sciences VOICE (Violence Can End) Program and SARA, Inc. (Sexual Assault Response and Awareness) teamed up to host Take Back the Night 2013.
As part of this year's program, we participated in "Fear2Freedom," a nationwide initiative to provide local hospitals with aftercare kits for victims/survivors of sexual violence.
In the Boardroom on the third floor of Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital on the JCHS campus, our volunteers prepared the items that would be compiled into the kits later that evening. Pictured here are (left to right) JCHS students Tim Carter and Bryan Haring, with JCHS Director for Academic Support Services Al Overstreet.
JCHS students Kelly Berry (left) and Margaret Manuel help lay out the supplies for the Fear2Freedom kits.
We had lots of help getting ready from not only the JCHS community but representatives from the Fear2Freedom organization.
Also pitching in were (left to right) JCHS student Michelle Mason; JCHS Coordinator of Residence life Jennifer Martin; and JCHS student Shianne Gum.
Later in the day, we began to gather in the third floor lobby for the Take Back the Night event. There were lots of freebies available to our guests, including these great shirts!
We welcomed participants from both the JCHS and Roanoke communities, including JCHS Nursing faculty member and President of the Alumni Association Larry Lilley (left).
JCHS President Dr. Nathaniel L. Bishop (right) joined us, along with JCHS Chair of Community Health Sciences Dr. Sharon Hatfield.
Dr. Bishop takes a moment to greet JCHS student Chandler Jones.
JCHS Alumni Association Past President Sue Campbell generously gives out hugs to those in attendance.
Nearby, JCHS Coordinator for Student Life Elizabeth Costa (left) and Director of Counseling & Wellness Jennifer Slusher give Take Back the Night the thumbs up!
Then, we all moved to the lawn outside of the third floor lobby to begin our program.
We began our annual Take Back the Night event with a welcome and greeting from VOICE Program Coordinator Sarah Higginbotham.
JCHS President Dr. Nathaniel L. Bishop then spoke to the crowd about the important services provided by first responders and healthcare providers, as well as the courage of the survivors of sexual violence and their families.
We then heard remarks from Debbie Davidson from the Carilion Forensic Nurse Examiner Program.
Appearing on behalf of the law enforcement departments at Carilion Clinic, who also provide security for JCHS, was Chief Steve Lugar of the Carilion Police Department.
Teresa Berry, Executive Director of SARA (Sexual Assault Response and Awareness), Inc. then spoke to the crowd.
A JCHS student listening to remarks provided by SARA, Inc.'s Teresa Berry at Take Back the Night 2013.
Stepping to the podium to speak about their experiences were Anouk Sanchez and Detective Frank Leftwich from the Roanoke City Police Department.
We also welcomed Ms. Gil Harrington, mother of Morgan Harrington, to speak to our gathered guests.
Rosemary Trible, Founder of the Fear2Freedom Program, told her personal story of violence and how it has inspired to her to support and help others who have had similar experiences.
During her speech, Ms. Trible gave a Fear2Freedom box to JCHS President Bishop in honor of our participating in the program.
Sarah Higginbotham then introduced a new program at JCHS that would begin on April 17, 2013. The Campus Safety Program increases safety awareness by offering walking accompaniment upon request to and from the College's building, parking garage, parking lots and the Patrick Henry, where our residence halls are located.
After the presentations, the group participated in a walk from the JCHS campus at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital through our extended downtown campus to the Patrick Henry Building.
On the Take Back the Night honorary walk, heading off campus toward Jefferson Street.
We would like to thank the Carilion Clinic Police Department for their assistance in stopping traffic and keeping our participants safe as they walked through downtown Roanoke.
After heading all the way down to The Patrick Henry, our walkers make their way back to campus, crossing Elm Avenue.
After crossing back over Jefferson Street, we made our way back onto the JCHS campus, heading up Reid Drive.
JCHS student Amie Drumwright (right) gets her paperwork as we begin the Fear2Freedom box assembly. Each participant was given a sheet with a clothing size and lists of items that should go in the box.
They then headed into the Boardroom where they picked up specific items off the tables and put them in the box.
The boxes are given to victims of sexual assault and violence in hospitals during treatment. Each box contains items like fresh clothing, toiletries, journals and pens and more.
The boxes even contain this small teddy bear called a "Freedom Bear." The plush bear encourages someone just abused that they are not alone and help with their traumatic emotions and the healing process. You can read the full story about the Freedom bear at <a href=http://www.fear2freedom.org/freedom-bear-kits/><font color=blue>http://www.fear2freedom.org/freedom-bear-kits/</font></a>.
After completing the box, each participant can write a personal note of encouragement to the eventual recipient of the box.
More of our Take Back the Night guests putting together Fear2Freedom boxes.
Overall, JCHS compiled 125 Fear2Freedom boxes!
JCHS student Virginia Hinton celebrates her participation in Take Back the Night and Fear2Freedom.
In the lobby, our competed boxes and bags began to stack up. The boxes go to adult victims while the bags go to children. The sight was so impressive, some of our folks got their picture taken with the stack!
Dr. Bishop and Ms. Trible thank the participants for being part of such an important event.
Compiled in record time, our 125 Fear2Freedom boxes and bags.
Many of our Take Back the Night crew posing with their finished boxes and bags. Our 125 will be combined with 125 more from other local colleges to provide 250 kits to those in need.
Outside of the third floor lobby Ms. Trible once again thanked everyone for taking part and let them know what a difference their efforts would make in the lives of someone.
Carilion Clinic Forensic Nurse Melissa Harper then told the crowd that an ambulance would soon arrive to transport their boxes and bags to Raonoke Memorial Hospital where they would be stores and distributed to victims of abuse being treated there.
Ms. Trible then led a candlelight moment of silence in honor of victims of sexual violence and abuse all over the world. here, she begins lighting the candles.
Our participants then passed on the flame to each other.
The group then took a moment of silence to honor and remember the victims of this kind of abuse.
Left to right are Carilion Clinic's Melissa Harper; Fear2Freedom's Rosemary Trible; and Carilion Clinic's Debbie Davidson.
The Carilion Clinic ambulance then arrived to transport our kits to CRMH.
We would like to thank Carilion Clinic's Transport Services for their generous donation of time and effort to help us complete this project.
Our Take Back the Night volunteers lined up to hand their boxes and bags to our EMS personnel as they were loaded into the back of the ambulance.
Even JCHS President Dr. Bishop gave a boost to some boxes for transport.
As we wrapped up the night, Ms. Rosemary Trible and Dr. Nathaniel L. Bishop posed near our Carilion Clinic transport ambulance.
We would like to thank everyone who participated in all of our Take Back the Night activities this year. Your presence and effort int assmbline the Fear2Freedom boxes and bags was invaluable. We hope to see all of you again next year!<P>
To learn more about Fear2Freedom, please visit their website at <a href=http://www.fear2freedom.org/><font color=blue>http://www.fear2freedom.org/</font></a>.