Know Your Policy is being distributed in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
This project was supported by Grant No. 2015-WA-AX-0024 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
Know Your Policy Email Series – Center for Health Education & Wellness
This Know Your Policy Email Series is brought to you by the Center for Health Education & Wellness.
What policy we mean when we say “policy”
When we refer to the “policy” we are referring to the Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, Stalking and Retaliation policy. This policy can be found at sexualassault.utk.edu. The goals of the policy are to outline prohibited conduct, explain reporting options, describe the investigation and resolution process, address interim measures, outline resources, describe prevention programming and address the requirements of Title IX, Campus SaVE, and the Violence Against Women Act.
What is a mandatory reporter? What are some common examples?
A mandatory reporter is a University Employee who is required to report sexual misconduct, relationship violence, stalking or retaliation to the University. A full list of mandatory reporters when students are complainants can be found here. Common examples are Faculty, RA’s, TA’s and Academic Advisors.
Are there people who aren’t mandatory reporters?
Yes. They are called “confidential resources”. On campus our primary confidential resources are the Student Health Center and the Student Counseling Center. These offices can offer support and information, but is not considered a report to the University. Off campus, the Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee is a great resource that is also confidential. They provide advocacy, therapy and forensic exams. All of their services are free.
I want information about options and support, but don’t want to get someone else in trouble, is that possible?
Yes. Even if you request support, it does not mean that you have to provide any information on anyone else involved. The Center for Health Education & Wellness can discuss all of the available reporting options, assist you in accessing medical care, mental health support, and a number of other resources without any details about your experience. Our goal is to provide students with access and options. Your participation in the process is always your decision.
Resources and Reporting Options
For additional information, resources, and reporting options visit sexualassault.utk.edu
For information on prevention programs through the Center for Health Education & Wellness, visit wellness.utk.edu.
Know Your Policy Email Series – Office of Equity & Diversity
This Know Your Policy Email Series is brought to you by The Office of Equity and Diversity and focused on the federal law known as Title IX.
What is Title IX?
Title IX is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the bases of sex in federally funded education programs and activities. In other words, all students on this campus have the right to be here to receive an education without experiencing sex discrimination. If sex discrimination occurs, Title IX states that the University must respond to try and prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects.
What can the University do to make sure I do not have to be around someone who may have caused me harm or makes me afraid?
If a student is concerned about being around someone who may have caused them harm or makes them feel afraid, the University can take steps to help ensure their safety. If a student comes forward to report sexual misconduct, dating violence or stalking, interim measures can be put in place to help alleviate the situation.
For example, a No Contact Directive can be issued to prohibit continued contact between two students, the University can help assign a student to a different class or offer a housing reassignment, and professional staff can talk through other safety planning procedures to help them feel safe on and off campus. These measures can take place with or without a formal investigation.
What is an interim measure?
Along with some of the measures mentioned above, the University can impose other temporary measures to stabilize a situation and support the students involved in a report. Examples include providing access to counseling or medical services, No Contact Directives, academic accommodations that are made in agreement with the appropriate faculty member, offers of residence modifications, etc.
What does retaliation mean? What is and isn’t retaliation? How can I know if I have experienced retaliation?
Retaliation refers to an act that is taken because of a person’s participation in a protected activity that would discourage them from continued participation. Therefore, if a student complains formally or informally about sexual violence or participates in an investigation related to sexual violence, others are prohibited from retaliating because of the participation. Examples of retaliation include intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating against the individual participating in protected activity.
I’m still confused by incapacitation. Is there some way I can know if someone is unable to consent to sex due to incapacitation?
Incapacitation is a temporary or permanent physical or mental state in which a person cannot make informed, rational judgments because they do not understand the nature or consequences of their conduct. Alcohol and drugs are common causes and although incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication, it can be hard to determine from an outside perspective. Warning signs of incapacitation include, without limitation, inability to walk without assistance, lack of awareness of surroundings, vomiting, unresponsiveness, inability to communicate coherently, lack of sleep, medications (prescribed and/or over the counter), and mental and physical disabilities. Consent cannot be given when someone is incapacitated. Because it can be difficult to distinguish, we advise everyone to err on the side of caution when drugs and/or alcohol are involved.
Resources and Reporting Options