November 16, 2012
After a UVa student was allegedly abducted last Friday night on her way home, a few residential advisers put together an expanded self-defense class to refresh students on how to stay alert on and off grounds.
"If I see you on your phone and I get you from behind, you're not going to be able to identify me cause you're on the phone," UVa Police Officer Angela Tabler tells the students.
Officer Tabler reminds students of the little things that, if you make it a habit, can keep you more aware of your surroundings.
"Sometimes you do find yourself walking back from the library alone and you think everything's going to be fine because you trust the community but unfortunately things happen," said third-year student, Chumma Tum. "So, I think this is a great opportunity to learn how to protect myself if God forbid anything happens to me walking home from grounds."
Students are given warnings and safety tips through different outlets throughout the school year but organizers say it takes an event that's close to home to put everything in perspective.
"My friends still go to Runk Dining Hall all the time and they've been swiped in by that guy and thought he was so friendly," Tum said. "Then just out of the blue this happens and it just blows your mind that this can happen at such a great university,"
Officer Tabler told students to target certain vulnerable areas of the body, if being attacked. The eyes, groin area, shins, tops of the feet and throat are areas where you can strike the attacker in order to get away.
Tabler said she does not necessarily recommend getting pepper spray because it is not readily available if you need it. "It'll be at the bottom of your bag and you'll never get it in time," she said. "Your personal weapons, hands and feet, are what will keep you safe."