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As women, it’s important for us to stick together and to protect each other when we feel at risk. It’s especially important for us to speak up and speak loud when it comes to sexual harassment in order to spread awareness and keep each other safe. Because of what’s been happening in Blacksburg as of late, we felt it was our responsibility to share a detailed report of the break-ins and burglaries, as well as a list of items for purchase to help make you feel comfortable in your own home, and resources available for you to take advantage of.

News updates and what to know in Blacksburg

Disclaimer: the following information was retrieved from Blacksburg Police Department’s CrimeMapping.com and Montgomery County Public Safety Radio

1/22: 9:40 a.m. Burglary and Breaking/ Entering at 400 BLOCK ROANOKE ST -- the suspect is described as a college-aged white male wearing dark clothing and face covering.

1/23: 7:50 a.m. Burglary and Breaking/ Entering at 1200 BLOCK PROGRESS ST, 2:38 p.m. Burglary and Breaking/ Entering at 1200 BLOCK PROGRESS ST, 4:10 p.m. Burglary and B&E @ 700 BLOCK APPALACHIAN DR

1/25: 7:00 p.m. Burglary at 500 BLOCK SUNRIDGE DR, 10:08 p.m. Burglary and B&E @ 100 BLOCK CLOVER VALLEY CIR

1/26: 1:55 p.m. report of knocking on doors and windows, but no suspect visible at MacArthur St, 1:14 p.m. Report of sexual assault and B&E at Cambridge RD

1/27: 12:22 p.m. report of an attempted break-in at the Village

Self-defense tools and strategies

Near or in front of your door:

 

Alarms 

Ring doorbells 

Outside cameras

Door stopper

Master lock door security bar

Portable travel door lock

 

Not looking to buy? Use what you have to barricade: barstool, chairs, step stool, coffee table, etc. 

 

In your room

Pepper spray 

Whistle (VT always gives them out for free at housing fairs)

Taser or stun gun

Again, use what you have: candles and heavy textbooks for defense, and a desk chair to barricade the door.

General Strategies

Turn off Snap Maps so people can’t see your location.

Remove any “girly” decorations outside of your home (wreaths, certain doormats, maybe plants).

Go into your VT account and make your private information inaccessible to the public.

Frequently check the locks on your doors and windows.

Buddy system! Share your location with close friends and roommates, and don’t go anywhere without having someone with you. 

Resources to practice being safe

Rape Agression Defense System (R.A.D. for women)

Crime Reporting Form

Anonymous Tips Form

Stop Abuse Online Reports

Anonymous tips can be reported online at the links above or via the new Hokie Ready app (for Android and iPhone devices).

Virginia Tech Police website

If you’re feeling unsafe, uncomfortable or on edge, know there are resources you can use to have an advantage. The world can be a scary, scary place for women, and as unfortunate as it may be, sometimes it’s up to us to fend for ourselves. Please reach out and use the resources listed above if you have any information about the burglaries, and call 911 in the case of an emergency.

Ally Ford

Virginia Tech '22

About me: a senior at Virginia Tech pursuing a dual degree in multimedia journalism and Spanish with a minor in professional and technical writing who enjoys driving with no destination, watching sunsets on the beach, mint chocolate chip ice cream and writing for Her Campus.
Camden Carpenter

Virginia Tech '21

Senior studying Smart and Sustainable Cities, with hopes to become a traveling urban developer. Attemping to embody "Carpe Diem" in her everyday life, both physically by getting a tattoo of the quote, and mentally by taking risks while trying to maximize each day's full potential.
Shanzeh is a senior at Virginia Tech and is originally from Northern Virginia. She's studying multimedia journalism and minoring in international studies; you can usually find her in a cozy corner with a cup of coffee most likely listening to a podcast or watching a news relay. Shanzeh hopes to become an international correspondent and has aspirations to be writing, reporting, and photographing for a news outlet in the future.
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