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Women's Studies Program

Department of Literature and Language

In the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault...


  • Get to a safe place.
    • Your safety and wellbeing are important. If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured, call 911.
  • Reach out to someone you trust for emotional support. 
    • It's important to find people who can provide support immediately after the sexual assault, as well as during the weeks, months, or even years as you heal from this traumatic experience.

    • 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 the ETSU Counseling Center at 439-3333 and ask for an OASIS advocate. All counseling is completely confidential.

    • You can also reach out the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.4673.

  • Seek Medical Attention. 
    • It is okay if you have not yet made a decision on whether to report the sexual assault to law enforcement. There may, however, be evidence on your body and clothes that should be collected and stored in the event you decide to pursue a criminal investigation. Further, seeking medical assistance can help to address any injuries, treatment of sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy prevention, and other medical support.

      You may have sustained injuries or contracted a sexually transmitted infection; therefore, the sooner you seek medical attention, the better. The Student Health Clinic provides medical care during the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 4:00p.m., Monday - Friday. During non-business hours or for the purpose of evidence collection, the Johnson City Medical Center offers specially trained nurses (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) through their emergency room to support you through the medical exam and administer a Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK). Again, collecting the evidence does not mean you need to make any decision to prosecute. The University can also arrange transportation to any student seeking a SANE exam.

      A counselor from the ETSU Counseling Center can accompany you to the hospital or police station, call 439-3333 during weekday hours, and after hours, the Counselor on Duty can be contacted through Public Safety at 439-4480. The counselor provides confidential emotional support and can also help you consider your reporting options and what to do next. 

  • Review reporting options. 
    • Choosing whether to report a sexual assault can be a difficult decision that is often made over time. In making this important decision, it may be helpful to consider your various reporting options. Please see our Reporting Information page for more information on your options.

  • Take care of yourself.
    • There is no single reaction to being sexually assaulted. You may experience a host of emotional and physical reactions. Seeking continued support through ETSU Counseling or other therapeutic means can help you heal


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