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Relationship & Sexual Violence Prevention

The Center for Health Education and Wellness (CHEW), in partnership with the Office of Title IX, is committed to educating the UT community about ways in which we can prevent relationship and sexual violence. Together, we work to move upstream to prevent prohibited conduct before it occurs.

What is “Relationship & Sexual Violence”?

“Relationship and sexual violence” is an umbrella term referring to conduct prohibited by the Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking. This policy outlines the definitions of prohibited behaviors, including sexual harassment (which includes sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking), sexual exploitation, and retaliation.

Sometimes we also use the umbrella term “sexual misconduct” when referring to relationship and sexual violence.

Learn more about sexual misconduct here.


What is the Relationship & Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) Initiative?

At CHEW and in our partnership with the Office of Title IX, we seek to prevent sexual misconduct through primary prevention efforts. This includes building an environment that encourages well-being and healthy choices, as well as teaching our community to embody what it means to be a Volunteer who ACTs.

As part of these efforts, we engage with all new members of our community (students, faculty, staff), as well as groups in the community who may be at increased risk. In addition, we offer ongoing presentations and educational opportunities on being an ACTive bystander, healthy relationships, consent, sexual health, and more.

How can I get involved with the RSVP Initiative?

Students who participate in the RSVP initiative will:

  1. Develop the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions related to consent, relationships, and sexual health.
  2. Understand sexual misconduct and learn how to help prevent it by practicing consent, using the Vols A.C.T. model to be an ACTive bystander, and identifying resources available.

You can get involved with the RSVP initiative in a variety of ways!

We offer a variety of standard educational presentations for students on topics related to RSVP, including:

  • ACTive Bystander Training (Vols ACT)
  • Consent
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Sexual Health
  • Supporting Survivors (Vols CARE)

We can also provide custom presentations to address your group’s needs! Learn more about our presentations here.

We facilitate events throughout the academic year designed to engage students in the RSVP initiative, including:

  • T-Shirt Tuesdays
  • Wellness Wednesdays
  • Awareness Month Activities
    • Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)
    • Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)
  • and more!

Join us for our RSVP events throughout the year. Visit our Events Calendar for more information.

The Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) Team is composed of more than 30 members across the campus and the greater Knoxville community. The RSVP team provides leadership to the university’s sexual misconduct prevention through primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention efforts.

The RSVP Team is co-chaired by the Office of Title IX and Center for Health Education and Wellness staff. Current co-chairs are:

Kayley D. McMahan, PhD
RSVP Coordinator, Center for Health Education & Wellness
kdmcmahan@utk.edu

Laura R. Bryant, PhD, MSSW
Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Prevention, Training, and Evaluation
lbryant7@utk.edu

Learn more about the RSVP Team here.

Interested in joining the RSVP Team? Contact co-chair Kayley McMahan or Laura Bryant.