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East Tennessee State University

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Preventing Sexual Assault through Bystander Intervention

The university's goal for the campus community is clear: Bystanders have a positive, moral obligation to take any reasonable and prudent action they can to prevent or stop an act of sexual misconduct from taking place. ETSU is dedicated to maintaining an environment which is safe and supportive of its students and employees where relationships are built on honesty, integrity, and trust.
Think Live Respect Logo

One aspect of ETSUs Think, Live Respect initiative is how bystanders can respond to instances of harmful or violent words, actions, or behaviors.  When you observe conflict or unacceptable behavior, take steps to make a difference: assess the situation, evaluate options, and select a strategy for response. 


Supporting a Survivor of Sexual Assault

What to do if you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted:

  • Get to a safe place, one that is well-lit and where there are other people, preferably people you know and trust.
  • Do not bathe, douche, brush your teeth, chew gum, drink, change clothing or even comb your hair before seeking medical attention. It is only natural to want to do so, but you may be destroying physical evidence that could be needed later if you decide to pursue an investigation.
  • Call the police as soon as possible to report the assault. If you are on campus call ETSU Public Safety at 911 or 439-4480. If you are off campus and call 911, the local police will respond to your call. By calling the police you are reporting the crime and seeking the protection of the police. Reporting does not mean that you have to prosecute.
  • If you wish, call a friend, family member or other trusted person to be with you. A counselor from the ETSU Counseling Center can accompany you to the hospital or police station, call 439-4841 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.
  • Get immediate medical attention. 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.
  • 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 the ETSU Counseling Center at 439-4841 and ask for an OASIS advocate. All counseling is completely confidential.

All reporters of sexual assault or violence are afforded the following:

  • Access to emotional, mental, and medical support. You will be informed about on-campus and off-campus resources, including medical assistance, mental health counseling services, law enforcement agencies, and campus conduct options.
  • Information and assistance with Public Safety and/or the appropriate law enforcement authorities
  • Assistance with interim measures to prevent unnecessary or unwelcome contact or proximity to the party who is being accused of assault.  Such measures may include housing relocation, a campus "no contact order" between the parties, and adjustments to course or work schedules prevent contact.
  • Assistance with reporting retaliation. ETSU strictly prohibits retaliation against a person who reports sexual assault.  Any concerns of retaliatory behavior should be reported immediately to ETSU Public Safety 24 hours a day at 423-439-4480 or by calling 911.

 To access interim measures or discuss your reporting options, contact:

Garrison Burton, Title IX Coordinator
Office of Compliance
Nell Dossett Hall Room 223



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