If you or someone you know is accused of sexual assault, relationship violence (or domestic violence), stalking, retaliation, or harassment (which means you or the other person is now a “respondent”) the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has resources available. It is natural to feel confused, afraid, or overwhelmed, and there is no way to know how you will respond until you are in this position.
If you are supporting someone who is a respondent, please remember that it is important to get them connected to resources and supports on campus as quickly as possible. Below you will find a list of proactive steps you can take to locate support and resources for either yourself or your friend who is a respondent.
First, it is important to understand the University of Tennessee’s Sexual Misconduct policy. The policy provides definitions for sexual misconduct, as well as the definition of consent and what is means to be incapacitated.
Second, it is important to utilize support services. The respondent may be dealing with a lot of changes, such as a No Contact Directive that may have been put in place by the university, academic changes (such as changes to a schedule), or even an investigation process through the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards and/or law enforcement. It is important to have a support system when dealing with this process, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville has resources for both complainants and respondents.
The Title IX Office
The Senior Deputy Title IX Coordinator and the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Student Support are both available to work with complainants and respondents. If one member of the staff is working with one party, another staff member will be assigned to work with the other party. The Title IX Office is located at 1817 Melrose Avenue. Title IX staff may provide appropriate interim measures and resources to all students involved in Title IX related issues.
The Student Counseling Center (SCC)
The Student Counseling Center is located on the second floor of the Student Health Building. The counseling center provides confidential personal counseling, psychotherapy, and psychological outreach and consultation services. The counseling center can also provide referrals for off-campus mental health services should you prefer to speak to someone not connected to the university. The counseling center has drop-in hours Monday-Friday from 10 am-3:30 pm, or you can call and schedule an appointment. After hours, you can contact 865-974-4357 (HELP) and speak confidentially to a mental health professional.
The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (OSCCS)
The OSCCS seeks to resolve situations involving student members of the University community when one or more of the individuals involves is alleged to have violated a university standard of conduct. OSCCS works to promote a campus community in which all members can live, work, and pursue academic goals successfully and without interference from others. The OSCCS is located in the Student Services Building room 409.
Finally, it is important to listen to your friend if they are a respondent in a Title IX investigation. Listening means you withhold judgment, offer support, and encourage your friend to seek additional support. It is also important to recognize your own limits when trying to support your friend who is a respondent. If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed, please know that you can seek any of the above resources as well.