Sexual Assault

What is Consent? Consent is an informed decision, freely given, made through mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.  Consent cannot be given by an individual who is asleep; unconscious; or mentally or physically incapacitated, either through the effect of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason; or, is under duress, threat, coercion, or force.  Past consent does not imply future consent.  Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent. Consent can be withdrawn at any time.                                                                                                           

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Important Definitions                                                                                          

Stalking: Stalking is a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested, and that actually causes the accuser to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.  Harassment means conduct directed toward the accuser that includes, but is not limited to, repeated or continuing unconsented contact that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress, and that actually causes the accuser to suffer emotional distress.  Harassment does not include constitutionally protected activity or conduct that serves a legitimate purpose. TCA 39-17-315

Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when one of the following criteria is met: submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition of the individual's employment or of the individual's status in a program, course, or activity; submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions, a criterion for evaluation, or a basis for academic or other decisions affecting such individual; such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or educational experience, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment. Whether the alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment depends upon the record as a whole and the totality of the circumstances, such as the nature of sexual advances in the context within which the alleged incident occurs. Verbal expressions or written material that is relevant and appropriately related to course subject matter or curriculum may not be considered harassment. Sexual harassment and racial harassment have been held to constitute forms of discrimination prohibited by Title VI, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972. The University may be held liable pursuant to Title VI or Title VII and/or lose federal funds pursuant to Title IX for failure to properly investigate and remedy claims of sexual or racial harassment.

Dating Violence:  Violence against a person when the accuser and accused are dating, or who have dated, or who have or had a sexual relationship.  “Dating” and “dated” do not include fraternization between two (2) individuals solely in a business or non-romantic social context.  Violence includes, but is not necessarily limited to,

(1)    inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on the accuser by other than accidental means,

(2)    placing the accuser in fear of physical harm,

(3)    physical restraint,

(4)    malicious damage to the personal property of the accuser, including inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the accuser; or,

(5)    placing a victim in fear of physical harm to any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the accuser. 

TCA 36-3-601(5)(c).

Domestic Violence:  Violence against a person when the accuser and accused:

(1)    are current or former spouses;

(2)    live together or have lived together;

(3)    are related by blood or adoption;

(4)    are related or were formally related by marriage; or,

(5)    are adult or minor children of a person in a relationship described above. 

Domestic violence includes, but is not necessarily limited to,

(1)    inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on the accuser by other than accidental means;

(2)    placing the accuser in fear of physical harm;

(3)    physical restraint;

(4)    malicious damage to the personal property of the accuser, including inflicting, or attempting to inflict, physical injury on any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the accuser; or,

(5)    placing the accuser in fear of physical harm to any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the accuser. 

TCA 36-3-601.

Sexual Battery:  (a) Unlawful sexual contact with a victim by the defendant or the defendant by a victim accompanied by any of the following circumstances:

  • Force or coercion is used to accomplish the act;
  • The sexual contact is accomplished without the consent of the victim and the defendant knows or has reason to know at the time of the contact that the victim did not consent;
  • The defendant knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless; or
  • The sexual contact is accomplished by fraud.

(b) As used in this section, "coercion" means the threat of kidnapping, extortion, force or violence to be performed immediately or in the future. (Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-505)

Rape :  Rape is unlawful sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant or of the defendant by a victim accompanied by any of the following circumstances:

  • Force or coercion is used to accomplish the act;
  • The sexual penetration is accomplished without the consent of the victim and the defendant knows or has reason to know at the time of the penetration that the victim did not consent;
  • The defendant knows or has reason to know that the victim is mentally defective, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless; or
  • The sexual penetration is accomplished by fraud. (Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-13-503)

For a more complete listing of definitions see the ETSU Violence Free website


Did you know that...

  • the number of incidents of women sexually assaulted during their college career is highly underreported, with estimates in the 20 -25%?
  • the first year year is the most dangerous for sexual assaults to occur?
  • the vast majority of campus rapes involve alcohol use, estimates are as many as 75%?
  • most incidents involve an acquaintance, with nearly 90% of women stating they knew and trusted the person who sexually assaulted or raped them and 57% of college rape victims stating they were attacked by dates?

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Keep Yourself Safer.

The following tips are meant to be educational in nature and to help increase dialogue and discussion about this important topic. Refer to ETSU’s Student Sexual Misconduct Policy for specifics.

- Always trust your instincts

- Communicate clearly. You have the right to say "no" and "I'm not sure."

- Think about what you really want from a partner before a possibly dangerous or uncomfortable situation occurs.

- Use the buddy system. Arrive at events with friends. Keep track of your friends and leave with them.

- If you or your friend stays behind, create a safety plan.

- Drink responsibly. Know what's in your drink. Only drink from un-opened bottles or cans, or drinks that you've seen poured. Avoid punch bowls – they are easiest to drug and you have no idea how much alcohol is in them.

- Know which behaviors constitute sexual assault, rape and consent. Understand that most incidents occur between people that know each other.

- If something happens, get help. There are many resources available to help you recover from painful experiences.

If a friend discloses to you that they have been sexually assaulted, don't take it all on yourself. Call (423-439-4841) or email (oasis@etsu.edu) OASIS at the ETSU Counseling Center for support.


Be a Safe Partner

- Regard your own actions and behaviors honestly and objectively.

- Learn to recognize sexism, and challenge yourself to stop it when it occurs.

- Talk about sex. Sex without discussion does not allow consent to be communicated.

- Know which behaviors constitute sexual assault, rape and consent. Understand that most incidents occur between people that know each other.

-If you see someone dosing someone's drink, or hear about a "drugged" punch bowl, confront the behavior. Warn the people they are trying to drug.  Turn the predator in to public safety or student affairs.

- Men, realize that sexual violence is a men's issue. The vast majority of all rapes and sexual assaults are committed by men (98%). Sexual violence can have long-term repercussions on the relationships of those with whom we interact. Your mother, sister, friend, girlfriend or wife could potentially be victims of sexual violence and trauma.


Common Reactions of Survivors

It is normal for survivors to experience a range of feelings after a sexual assault, and all survivors will react to the trauma in their own way.

Below is a partial list of some common survivor’s reactions to sexual violence:

  • Shock and disbelief
  • Denial
  • Numbing
  • Apathy
  • Embarrassment, shame, guilt
  • Intense anger, anxiety, panic attacks
  • Fear, nightmares
  • Disorientation, loss of memory, difficulty concentrating
  • Depression, diminished interest, social withdrawal
  • Loss of self esteem

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What To Do If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted

Call Public Safety (423-439-4480) or 911 if you need immediate medical or police assistance.

Go to a safe place as soon as possible. Ask a friend, family member or someone you trust to stay with you.

Try to preserve all evidence of the assault. Avoid drinking, bathing, showering, douching, brushing your teeth or changing your clothes.

Get medical care. You may have sustained injuries or contracted a sexually transmitted disease. At the Johnson City Medical Center emergency room, you may request a S.A.N.E. (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner). You may also undergo a Physical Evidence Recovery Kit. (PERK), which is very helpful if you later choose to pursue an investigation. Although the crime will be reported, your name will not be released, you can refuse further investigation, and the S.A.N.E. will act as your advocate through this process.

Try to write down, or have a friend write down, everything you can remember about the incident. If you later decide to report or press charges, you will have the details to give to the police.

Seek follow-up counseling. A trained counselor can help you process the emotional trauma of sexual assault.

Call ETSU Counseling Center (423-439-4841), or after hours, call Public Safety (423-439-4480) and ask for the counselor on call.

For more information, visit ETSU Violence Free.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Resources

RAINN

Psych Central: Abuse

Women's Health

 

 

 

 

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