Center for Health Education & Wellness


What to Do if You Have Been Sexually Assaulted

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Go to a safe place.

As soon as you are in a safe place, tell someone you can trust about the incident—a roommate, friend, resident advisor or hall director, minister, or counselor—someone who can provide emotional support and objectively help you make a plan.

Preserve all physical evidence.

Do not change your clothing, bathe, shower, douche, use the bathroom, brush your teeth, drink liquids, wash your hands, or comb your hair. If you change clothes, you should place all of your clothing that was worn at the time of the incident in a paper (not plastic) bag.

Seek medical attention.

You may seek medical care at any time after unwanted sexual activity without reporting a crime or notifying the police. If you think you might want to prosecute, you are strongly encouraged to have a medical examination for the collection of evidence within seventy-two hours. A medical professional will examine you, provide appropriate medical treatment, and talk with you about the prevention of venereal disease and pregnancy. UT Police is available to take you to a hospital or to the Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee for a medical examination. Receiving a medical examination does not mean that you must make a formal report to the University or to law enforcement.

We encourage you to seek medical/ emergency support by contacting one of the following:

Emergency 911
University of Tennessee Police Department 865-974-3111
Sexual Assault Response Team (S.A.R.T) 865-974-HELP (4357)
Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee 24 Hour Hotline 865-522-5244
Student Counseling Center 865-974-2196

Seek counseling.

Victims who wish to speak confidentially with someone about the incident may call a licensed psychologist in the Student Counseling Center (974-2196) any time during business hours on a normal weekday; a licensed psychiatrist in the Student Health Center (974-3648) any time during business hours on a normal weekday; or a staff member at the Knoxville Sexual Assault Crisis Center’s Crisis Hotline (522-7273) available twenty-four hours a day. A licensed University counselor or Sexual Assault Center staff member can help a victim explore options, provide information, and provide emotional support.

Whether you seek immediate assistance or choose to wait for a period of time after the assault, counseling can help you deal with the psychological impact and begin the healing process.

Report the incident.

The University strongly encourages individuals to report sexual assault to appropriate officials because this is the only way that action can be taken against an alleged violator of law and University policy. Timely reporting and a medical examination within seventy-two hours are critical in preserving evidence and responding effectively, but an individual may report an incident at any time. Reporting an incident to the University allows the University to take steps to prevent the recurrence of sexual misconduct and reduce its discriminatory effects, if appropriate. You may report the incident to the University regardless of whether you choose to press formal criminal charges.

We encourage you to report the incident to any of the following:

University of Tennessee Police Department 865-974-3114
Sexual Assault Response Team (S.A.R.T) 865-974-HELP (4357)
University of Tennessee Police Department 865-974-3114
Office of the Dean of Students 865-974-3179
Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards 865-974-3171
Office of Equity and Diversity* 865-974-2498

University’s Title IX Coordinator

You may report any incident related to sexual misconduct, including harassment, specifically to the University’s Title IX coordinator, Jennifer L. Richter, Office of Equity and Diversity, 1840 Melrose Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996.

You may contact her by phone at 865-974-2498 or e-mail to jrichter@utk.edu

Other Points of Contact & Support

Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee 
6215 Kingston Pike, Suite A, Knoxville
865-558-9040

865-522-7273 (24-hour crisis hotline)

Student Counseling Center
1800 Volunteer Blvd., Knoxville
865-974-2196

Student Health Center
1800 Volunteer Blvd, Knoxville
865-974-3135

UT Commission for Women
1840 Melrose Avenue, Knoxville
865-974-2498

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