What to Do If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted
Get to a safe place immediately.
After experiencing a traumatizing event such as rape, it is important to find a place where you feel comfortable and safe from harm. This location could be a friend's room, the police station, or the local hospital.
Call the police as soon as possible.
If you are on campus and call 911, Public Safety will respond to your call. If you are off campus and call 911, local police will respond to your call. By calling the police, you are reporting the crime that was committed against you, as well as seeking the protection of the police.
Call someone who can be with you.
If you do not want to call a friend or a family member to accompany you to the hospital or police station, an advocate from Campus Advocates Against Sexual Violence (CAASV) (439-4841) or an advocate from the Sexual Assault Response Center (928-4710) can respond. If after 4:30 p.m. or on the weekend, an advocate from CAASV may be contacted through the Public Safety office (439-4480).
Preserve all physical evidence.
If possible, do not bathe, shower, douche, eat, drink, smoke, urinate, brush your teeth, or change your clothes. Do not disturb anything in the area where the assault occurred. You may destroy evidence. If you have changed your clothes, take the clothes you were wearing at the time of the rape to the hospital in a paper bag. (Plastic may destroy evidence.)
Seek medical attention.
You may have sustained injuries from the attack or contracted a sexually transmitted disease; therefore, the sooner you seek medical attention the better. The Student Health Clinic can provide medical care during the hours of 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. During non-business hours or for the purpose of evidence collection, the local hospital emergency room is preferred. Emergency room personnel can treat you not only for injuries and sexually transmitted diseases, but also can administer a Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK), which gathers the physical evidence in the event that you decide to pursue an investigation.
Seek follow-up counseling.
Whether or not you report the assault or prosecute, a trained counselor can help you deal with the emotional trauma of an assault. You may call Campus Advocates Against Sexual Violence at 439-4841 and ask to speak to an advocate. CAASV services are strictly confidential.
Dealing With the Aftermath: Survivor Assistance
University personnel will assist any student who is the victim of a sex offense in notifying law enforcement, in obtaining medical assistance, and in pursuing counseling. If a student requests a change in her/his academic or on-campus living situation, then the university will accommodate the student's request if those changes are reasonably available.
University Disciplinary Procedures
There are several options available to a student who was assaulted by another student. In addition to bringing charges against the perpetrator in criminal or civil court, the survivor also may seek recourse through the university disciplinary process.
Sexual battery or rape, in addition to being a violation of state law, also is violation of ETSU Student Disciplinary Rules. If a survivor initiates campus disciplinary action, both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the following:
- The accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a hearing.
- Both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary hearing brought alleging a sex offense.
In order to bring charges of sexual battery or rape against another student, a student must initiate the judicial process by contacting the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at 439-6129. (For more information about the university disciplinary process, please refer to the section on "Policies and Regulations" in the student handbook, the Spectrum, which may be found in the campus telephone directory.)
If the accused student is found guilty of the alleged sex offense, suspension or expulsion from the university may occur.
The Accuser's Rights
During the course of the disciplinary proceeding, accusers have the following rights:
- To meet with the appropriate judicial officer to discuss the disciplinary process.
- To submit a written account of the alleged incident.
- To be advised of the date, time and location of the disciplinary hearing, and to request rescheduling of the hearing for a good cause.
- To be accompanied by an advisor of the accuser's choosing during the hearing process, although the advisor will not be permitted to speak for the accuser during the hearing.
- To testify as a witness during the hearing.
- To decline to testify, with the knowledge that such action could result in dismissal of the university's charges for lack of evidence.
- To submit a written impact statement to the hearing panel for consideration during the sanctioning phase of the disciplinary process.