Hundreds attend sexual assault awareness film premiere at CNU

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — National statistics show that every two minutes in America, someone is sexually assaulted. Sexual assaults on college campuses remain a critical issue across Hampton Roads.IMG_0372

Hundreds showed up at Christopher Newport University Wednesday night to get the word out that no means no. The school launched a new film called “Be The Change,” produced by the group Fear 2 Freedom. The message? Be the change to change the culture that allows sexual assaults to happen on college campuses.

‘Fear 2 Freedom’ founder and President Rosemary Trible is herself a victim of rape.

“We want them to learn about consent, bystander intervention, how to be safe, how to avoid the date rape drug,” Trible says. “We want to be honest with these students.”

Rosemary Trible on CNU support group for sex assault victims

CNU professor Molly Waters, who is also a rape victim, shared her story to incoming students.

“I want these people to know they can still live a life of joy, and there are times that are tough, it is a hard time to overcome…but you can and you will,” Waters says.

Trible wrote the book “Freedom Bear’s Story” on Waters’ attack, which happened when she was only 8-years-old by a teenager who jumped the backyard fence. Her father was cutting the front lawn and was not aware.

“Molly screamed for help, but no one could hear, no one could come save the day. The boy shook Molly and said, ‘You better never tell,’ before he ran away,” Waters said as she read from the book.

“The story is told from a teddy bear’s point of view,” Waters added. “Rarely can I hear the sounds of a lawn mower without being brought back to that day.”

Also in the film is Rosemary’s husband and CNU President Paul Trible, who has been featured in a 10 On Your Side report on his cracking down on assaults and behavior issues on campus.

“It is time to say enough is enough. This must come to an end.”

Both Tribles have been strong advocates for changing how involuntary withdrawals from schools are reported on transcripts. Thanks to the Tribles, the General Assembly recently enacted laws requiring such notations on transcripts.

WAVY News recently reported that President Trible addressed the football team time twice dealing with behavior issues that he would not specify.

“I told them, ‘if problems continue, I’m going  to end this team. I started football, and I’m going to bring it to an end,’” Trible said.

The football team listened, took it in, and responded positively, which the Tribles point to as an example of campus wide efforts coming together to solve the problems and increase awareness of sexual assaults.

Rosemary Trible says, “WAVY has been a partner throughout the last year and a half, and they are really concerned about this issue, and wanting the community to know we need to be together in this.”

Together in saying enough is enough.

“I want them [the freshman class expected to attend] to know your life has meaning, and you are valued, and you have an incredible opportunity to make a difference in this world,” Waters says.

The film shows the CNU community coming together to fight sexual assaults: The football team and the athletic community, fraternities, sororities, the entire campus saying enough is enough. The film will be offered to 400 campuses across America to be used as a starting point for discussions on their campuses.

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