Have you experienced prohibited conduct?
Talk to someone you trust.
As soon as you are in a safe place, talk to someone you can trust about the incident—like a family member, friend, or counselor. You can call the Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee 24/7 at 865-522-7273, and you will be connected to a confidential advocate to help you think about next steps. The university also has an after-hours help line, 865-974-HELP (4357), where you will be connected with someone who can talk to you about options, resources, and support.
The most important thing is to talk with someone who can provide emotional support and help you make a plan.
Preserve all physical evidence.
If you have experienced sexual assault, when possible avoid changing your clothing, bathing, showering, using a douche, using the bathroom, brushing your teeth, drinking liquids, washing your hands or face, or combing your hair. If you change clothes, evidence is best preserved in a paper (not plastic) bag. Preservation of evidence does not mean that you have to pursue criminal charges, but it preserves that option for you.
Seek medical care.
You may seek medical care at any time following an assault, but we strongly recommend that you do so within 72 hours (three days). A medical professional will examine you, provide appropriate medical treatment, and, if applicable, talk with you about the prevention of sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.
You may seek medical care by contacting one of the following, 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee
2455 Sutherland Avenue Building B6215
Knoxville, TN 37919
The mission of the Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee is to provide excellent and compassionate services for victims and survivors of sexual assault and to empower our communities through education and social change. The Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee has four program areas: Forensic Nursing, Advocacy, Therapy, and Prevention Education. All services provided by the SACETN are free, including no-cost medical examinations, pregnancy prevention, and testing and preventative treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
University of Tennessee Police Department (UTPD)
Contact the UTPD if you would like an officer to take you either to a local hospital or the Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee for a medical examination.
Calling 911, contacting the Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee, or contacting the UTPD does not mean that you must make a formal report to the university or to law enforcement. A medical examination simply preserves evidence in the event that you wish to pursue a criminal prosecution. If unwanted sexual activity occurred and if you think you might want to prosecute, you are strongly encouraged to have a medical examination for the collection and preservation of evidence within seventy-two hours.
Please note that the collection of evidence for use in a criminal prosecution relating to unwanted sexual activity can only be performed by trained personnel at a hospital emergency room or at the Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee. Physical examinations by other health care providers are likely to impede potential future legal remedies.
If you wish to speak confidentially with someone, you can contact one of the following resources:
Student Counseling Center
865-974-4357 After-hours help line
Mental health providers are available during weekday business hours for appointment and after-hours and on weekends via the help line.
Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee Crisis Hotline
Staff members available 24 hours a day
A licensed university counselor or Sexual Assault Center staff member can guide you in exploring options and provide you with information and emotional support. Whether you seek immediate assistance or choose to wait, counseling can help you deal with the psychological impact and begin the healing process.
Reporting prohibited conduct to law enforcement or the university is a deeply personal choice that only you can make.
The university strongly encourages you to report an incident of sexual misconduct. Reporting the incident is the only way that the university and/or law enforcement can take action. Reporting the incident and having a medical examination performed within seventy-two hours (in sexual assault cases) are helpful steps in preserving evidence, which can help in a criminal or university investigation; nevertheless, you may report an incident at any time.
You may report an incident of prohibited conduct to any of the following:
Report to a University of Tennessee Administrative Unit
Office of Title IX
1817 Melrose Ave.
Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards
405 Student Services Building
Report to Law Enforcement Authorities
University of Tennessee Police Department
Knoxville Police Department
You can report an incident to law enforcement before, during, or after an investigation or a resolution of the incident by the university. You have the right to decline to report the incident to law enforcement.
Even if you do not report the incident to law enforcement, you can still access medical care, counseling, and other support from the university by notifying the Title IX coordinator or the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.
After you report the incident to the university, the university can support you in a variety of ways:
- Informing you of your rights under the university’s Title IX grievance procedures
- Issuing a no-contact directive to the respondent, which prohibits the respondent from having verbal, physical, or written contact with you for a definite or indefinite period of time
- Providing medical and counseling services
- Assisting you in reporting an incident to law enforcement, if you want to report the incident
- Exploring changes in living and working arrangements
- Arranging appointments with follow-up on-campus support services or off-campus support services (for example, arranging an appointment with the Knoxville Family Justice Center to discuss options for pursuing an order of protection in Knox County Fourth Circuit Court)
- Exploring changes in class schedules, including adjustments so that you and the respondent do not share the same classes
- Assisting you in communicating with faculty
- Providing academic support, including tutoring
- Exploring the options of retaking a course, dropping a course, or withdrawing for a semester without penalty
These support services are available to you even if you do not want to report the incident to UTPD or the Knoxville Police Department.
Confidentiality and Privacy
Confidentiality and privacy are uniquely different. Confidentiality is limited to someone who, by law, can keep information confidential. Information communicated to Title IX or other mandatory reporters will be kept private and shared only with university employees who need to be involved in responding to or addressing a report. For more detailed information, call the Office of Title IX.
The Student Counseling Center and Student Health Center are the primary designated confidential resources who can talk with you about supports and options.
Other university employees who are not confidential resources will protect the privacy of your report to the maximum extent possible under the circumstances and share the information you reported only within the limited circle of university employees who need to be involved in responding to the report.
If you report an incident of prohibited conduct to the university, you have the right to:
- Request that your name not be disclosed to the respondent;
- Request that the university not investigate the incident further or pursue disciplinary action against the respondent;
- Decline to participate in a university investigation or disciplinary proceeding; or
- Decline to disclose the identity of the respondent to the university.
The university (typically the Title IX Coordinator) will evaluate a request that your name not be disclosed to the respondent or a request that the university not investigate the incident further or pursue disciplinary action against the respondent. If the university honors such a request, then the university’s ability to respond fully to the incident (e.g., meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the respondent or take other remedial action) may be limited.
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, or FERPA, personally identifiable information concerning a student report to a university official who is not a law enforcement officer (for example, to the Office of Title IX) will not be disclosed to third parties outside the university without the consent of the student except in response to a lawfully issued subpoena or as otherwise required or allowed by law.
If during a university investigation of misconduct, a respondent makes a request to review documents concerning the investigation, FERPA requires that the university grant the student’s request to inspect and review records that relate specifically to him or her, but the university will redact the complainant’s name and any other identifying information to the maximum extent possible. In addition, after the university has formally charged a student or employee with violating university policy, the respondent will have a due process right to be informed of the nature of the allegations against him or her, including the identity of the person who accused him or her of misconduct.
In contrast to a report to a university administrative official, incident reports prepared by UTPD for law enforcement purposes are generally considered public records under the Tennessee Public Records Act and are not protected by FERPA, which means they will be made available to any Tennessee citizen upon request unless the report is part of an ongoing criminal investigation. In addition, the UTPD is required by federal law to report the occurrence of certain crimes on campus, including sex offenses, in an annual report of crime statistics, but the report does not contain any personally identifiable information. The UTPD is also required by federal law to issue timely warnings for certain crimes that represent serious or continuing threats to the safety of students or employees, but such warnings do not contain any personally identifiable information.
The University of Tennessee and Title IX prohibit retaliation against anyone who reports sexual harassment, sexual assault, or sexual misconduct. The university will take reasonable steps to prevent retaliation, and will take strong responsive action if retaliation occurs.
If you were using alcohol and/or drugs at the time of the incident, the university does not want that to keep you from reporting. The university will not pursue disciplinary charges against you for personal consumption of alcohol or other drugs.