VT students outraged over four sexual battery/assault cases at Virginia Tech in just two days

Why aren’t we doing something about this?

Every student is required to complete the Haven course at the beginning of the year and learn about sexual assault, yet students have noticed a rise of sexual assault and battery cases. In the past two days, students have gotten four emails about sexual battery and sexual assault crimes, three of which occurred on campus, one at Myrtle Beach, and all occurring within the past week. In all cases, both survivor and offender were Virginia Tech students.

It didn’t take long for appalled students to take to social media in hopes of making a difference. Sarah Pavilack, a senior at Virginia Tech, posted the following on Facebook about her petition.

“The online lesson plans that the university has in plans now to educate students about sexual assault are not sufficient. While they are well-intentioned, an easy click through online lesson plan does not send the message that this an issue that the school takes seriously,” Pavilack told us. She wasn’t the only Facebook member to express frustration with the recent events.

The back-to-back emails were received the same day of the start of The Clothesline Project, in which 588 t-shirts telling the story of survivors of incidents such as these from across Montgomery county are hung across the Drillfield and inside Squires.

Alex Nelson, a senior participating in the project, had this to say to WDBJ7: “You know there’s statistics, you hear those numbers all the time, but then this is a physical and personal representation of what their experiences were and I think it’s a great way for people to just be able to look at it and actually feel something.”

One of the many initiatives being taken to fight against these actions include the Take Back the Night rally, hosted by Womenspace. The event is set to happen March 31. Participants will gather at 6:30 to 7:00pm and will take place from 7:00 to 7:30pm, followed by a march through campus and downtown Blacksburg.

More options to help fight back are as follows (courtesy of Avalon Roche via Facebook):

  • Apply to be a Gender-Based Violence Intern at the Women’s Center
  • Apply to join SAVES
  • Request a SAVES presentation on campus
  • Participate in Sexual Assault Awareness Month information tables
  • Sign up to volunteer with the NRV Women’s Resource Center
  • Visit this page to learn more about what you can do at Virginia Tech

Most importantly: be an active bystander and stop sexual assault and sexual battery as you see it.

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