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Sexual Violence

Stalking

Countless movies romanticize stalking, it’s practically the plot of most rom-coms from the 90’s: someone likes someone else, they follow them around obsessively, despite initial rejections, until finally the other persons “falls in love” with their persistence. But stalking isn’t romantic. In fact, it’s a violation of UTK Policy and against the law in all 50 states.

Stalking can look like a lot of different things. But the important part is to pay attention to the way the behavior makes you feel. Feeling afraid, vulnerable, unsafe, anxious, or like you need to change your location, routine or housing can be signs that you are experiencing stalking.

Some examples:

  • Showing up uninvited to your place of work, school, home
  • Knowing your schedule
  • Repeated unwanted in person or online contact
  • Spreading rumors about you
  • Damaging your property
  • Using other people to find out more about you (e.g., via a mutual friend’s social media account)
  • Tracking your movements
  • “Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, regardless of one’s relationship with that person, which would cause a Reasonable Person to: (1) fear for the person’s safety or the safety of another person; and/or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress. “Course of conduct” means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which a person directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates with or about another person, or interferes with another person’s property. “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling. Stalking includes the concept of cyber-stalking, a particular form of stalking in which electronic media such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact are used. Stalking also may be a form of Sex Discrimination prohibited by federal and state antidiscrimination laws, such as Title VII and Title IX, and/or may constitute a crime in Tennessee.

Assault

Sexual Assault is an umbrella term that encompasses nonconsensual sexual penetration, nonconsensual sexual contact, and conduct that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as used in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program. from: https://titleix.utk.edu/definitions-explanations/

In short, sexual assault is when someone experiences sexual touch or penetration without consent.

If you have experienced sexual assault, you can visit the Office of Title IX’s website to learn more about resources, supports, and options. You are not alone. 


Intimate Partner Violence

Recognizing the signs of abuse in an intimate relationships can be challenging and painful. Often people assume if there is no physical violence, it cannot be considered abusive. But emotional and verbal abuse can take a significant toll on your well-being. Know the signs of healthy relationships as well as red flags of unhealthy relationships. Check out our page on healthy relationships for more info.


Get Help

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, you are not alone. There are resources on campus and in the community that can support you.

Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee (local 24/7 hotline)

RAINN (national sexual assault hotline)

Victim Connect  (confidential referrals for victims of crimes)

1in6 (resource for men)

Family Justice Center (local 24/7 helpline)

love is respect (intimate partner violence hotline)

Anti-Violence Project (LGBTQ+ resource)