Fear 2 Freedom trying to restore lives of sexual assault survivors

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) Many sexual assault victims will go years, thinking they're at fault. Many folks are now trying to change that.

Danielle Staub/WDBJ7

A Martinsville woman shared her story of struggle, anger and survival with WDBJ7.

"I was a virgin when I was raped but still it was my fault," Terry Holland, a sexual assault survivor, said.

In 1982, Holland reported the rape to police but it was dismissed in court.

"I felt like I was worthless. I don't matter to them, I don't matter to anyone," Holland said.

Leaders say that someone is a victim of sexual assault in America every two minutes. Fear 2 Freedom is a national campaign trying restore the lives of the survivors.

"Also to challenge college students to be the change and restore the joy," Fear 2 Freedom President and Founder Rosemary Trible said.

Volunteers on the Southside stuffed one bag at a time with toothbrushes and toothpaste, notebooks and teddy bears, until 200 sexual assault survivor kits were filled.

Fear 2 Freedom partnered with the Longwood University School of Social Work at New College Institute (NCI) and Southside Survivor Response Center for the event.

"Normally when the victim is in the hospital they don't have these things when they are allowed their time to shower," Vicky Belcher of the Martinsville Victim Witness Program said. "I wrote, 'wishing you restored hope and healing. You are worthy and valuable. With love, Vicky.'"

The kits were packed up and donated to the Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital's Forensic Nursing Program, where they will be given out to victims.

"Our program in Franklin County is averaging about 125 cases a year," Forensic Nurse Examiner Stephanie Hodges said.

Leaders say that's up from 62 cases because more people are now coming forward.

Survivor Holland says she was angry for more than 20 years. And she doesn't want that to happen to others.

"I missed so many joys with my child because I was too angry to enjoy anything," Holland said. "And I want the young girls, and old women, anyone who experiences this to know. That it's not your fault. You didn't do anything to deserve it and you are not worthless."