Hundreds gather at Virginia Tech to protest sexual violence

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 10:58 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - The Virginia Tech United Feminist Movement has been advocating for change when it comes to sexual violence at VT for years. Tuesday, it continued its demand for change, with a protest that drew hundreds of students and sexual assault survivors.

“Last year UFM released sexual violence demands to the university. Now that was a year ago, and this semester we’ve already had a string of sexual assaults occurring at university sponsored events like welcome week, concerts and football games,” said VT UFM President Carolina Bell.

For almost two hours, more than two dozen students stood in front of the crowd and shared their traumatizing stories, some sharing for the first time.

“I think it was really powerful this year to be able to gather in-person, and just see the amount of people who care, and who want change, and also being on the steps of Burruss (Hall), which is where President Tim Sands office is, I think it’s just a really powerful image.”

A spokesperson for Virginia Tech cited this article, about how the university is addressing sexual violence, following it by saying, “We care deeply about the issue of sexual assault and sexual violence and we join with all members of our community to do all we can to prevent this before it happens. If it does happen, we are committed to treating individuals who have been impacted by sexual violence with compassion and dignity, allowing individuals to make choices about how they proceed and heal, and stewarding an equitable Title IX process.”

UFM was happy about the protest’s turnout, but wants to ride the momentum to real change. It wrote a letter to VT Leaders about addressing the situation, while also drafting a comprehensive plan moving forward.

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