Crime alert: Sexual assault - content warning
From: Virginia Tech Police Department
On August 6, 2022, the Virginia Tech Police Department received two reports of sexual assault. One incident occurred in the Creativity and Innovation District (CID) building (185 Kent St.) in the early morning hours of July 27, 2022. The second incident occurred in the Chicken Hill Lot near the corner of Beamer Way and Southgate Drive in the evening hours of August 5, 2022. The survivors and offender were known to each other, and are best described as acquaintances. The offender is a Virginia Tech student living in the community.
As reported, these incidents meet the elements of sexual battery as defined in Virginia Code 18.2-67.4 and object sexual penetration as defined in Virginia Code 18.2-67.2. Information disclosed here is limited to protect the identity, privacy, and rights of the survivors.
What happens next?
If you report a sexual assault that occurred on the Virginia Tech campus, Virginia Tech Police has officers and detectives that will work with you to arrive at a decision that is best for you and your safety. Officers are available 24/7 and can help navigate next steps and answer any questions that you may have. As the survivor of a sexual assault, you can choose to solely document the crime, or you may decide to have the offense fully investigated by law enforcement and/or the university’s Title IX office. Investigations can be conducted to preserve evidence now while taking the necessary time to determine whether you wish to seek charge(s). The Virginia Tech Police and the Title IX office, which is part of Virginia Tech’s Office for Equity and Accessibility (oea.vt.edu) can investigate simultaneously. Virginia Tech Police can facilitate and support you in accessing assistance from another jurisdiction in which a crime has occurred.
Where can I find help?
There are several committed resource options available. Please see related information at stopabuse.vt.edu/. The website has guidance for filing anonymous or formal reports. In addition, assistance is available through the following resources:
Women's Center at Virginia Tech: 540-231-7806 | email@example.com
- Cook Counseling Center: 540-231-6557
- Women's Resource Center of the NRV: 24/7 Crisis Hotline 540-639-1123
- Title IX Coordinator Katie Polidoro: 540-231-1824 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dean of Students Office: 540-231-3787 | email@example.com
- Virginia Tech Police Department: 540-382-4343 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sexual violence is particularly prevalent and underreported among underrepresented populations, including our LGBTQIA+ and marginalized students. Sexual violence affects every population regardless of age, race, ethnicity, disability, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Virginia Tech is committed to enhancing and ensuring the safety and quality of life for our community members. The Virginia Tech Police Department is devoted to taking all reports seriously and connecting community members to their desired support resources and processes. We pride ourselves in serving our community with respect and compassion.
Cultural and Community Centers: 540-231-8584 | email@example.com
Personal Safety and Prevention
Know and respect your partner's sexual limits. Over half of reporting survivors are assaulted by an intimate partner or acquaintance.
Communication about boundaries and what you each are comfortable with is critical. You have the right to say "no," and consent can be withdrawn at any point without the need for justification.
If you are unsure or the consent is unclear, ask your partner. If you feel you are crossing the line of consent or boundaries set, you most likely are, and could possibly be in violation of the policies and/or laws outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and the Code of Virginia. The presence of coercion, force, or threat invalidates consent.
Alcohol and drugs are often used to create vulnerability. Studies of sexual assault incidents show a high correlation between acquaintance rape and drug/acohol usage. When drinking alcohol, prepare your own drinks and be aware that drugs/alcohol make it harder to process information, react, and communicate clearly. A person cannot consent while incapacitated. Examples of incapacitation include being intoxicated, asleep, drugged, or otherwise unconscious.
Attend parties and events with friends you can trust. Look out for one another and try to leave with your group, rather than alone or with someone you don't know very well. Use a designated driver, i.e., a trusted friend, taxi, or Safe Ride.
Make sure your friends are aware of your boundaries or norms. Making it clear that you will not leave a bar or party with someone you just met could allow your friends to be proactive in helping protect you.
Be an active bystander for potential survivors and offenders of sexual violence. If you notice a friend that may be losing control, be ready to intervene and assist them in leaving if needed. Make sure to have a plan for how to reconnect if separated.
Be cautious when inviting someone into your living space or accepting an invitation to theirs. Sexual assaults committed by acquaintances often occur in a residence.
Trust your gut. If you feel uneasy or sense something is wrong, don’t be afraid to be assertive or hurt someone’s feelings. Do what you can to get yourself and those who may be with you out of that situation or call for assistance. Make a scene if necessary.
Be aware of your surroundings and avoid isolated areas. Excuse yourself from situations that make you feel uncomfortable, pressured, or threatened. Potential phrases to escape a situation could include: needing to take care of another friend, an urgent phone call, not feeling well, or needing to be somewhere at a certain time. Any attempts to keep a person in a space or area beyond their wishes, could meet the elements of abduction by the Code of Virginia.
Virginia Tech Police offers a free self-defense course for students and employees several times a year. The four-part course begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, and progresses to the basics of hands-on defense training. Participants can engage however they are most comfortable. Click the following link for more information: police.vt.edu/programs-training.html
Sexual assault prevention is a community responsibility.
Sexual Violence Prevention Specialist Chelsea Cleary: 540-231-4889 | firstname.lastname@example.org