OASIS


OASIS (Outreach & Awareness: Sexuality Information for Students)
is a program of the Counseling Center at East Tennessee State University.  OASIS addresses issues of Dating/Relationship Violence, Sexual Violence, Healthy Sexuality/Relationships.  Our programs are designed to serve the needs of the ETSU population with information, education, training, advocacy, counseling, and referral services.

  OASIS offers presentations and workshops to ETSU classes and student organizations on a variety of issues relating to students’ lives, such as Body Image and the Media, Gender Violence, Men as Allies, and Healthy Relationships.  To request a presentation – contact our Outreach Coordinator at or 423-439-4841. Our topics can be tailored to meet the unique needs of any campus group, organization or class.  If you are interested in a topic not listed, please contact us – we may be able to provide presentations in other areas of interest.

OASIS also sponsors FemSex, a nationally recognized semester-long (noncredit) woman’s workshop on healthy sexuality.  As well, OASIS hosts a wide array of campus and outreach activities.  These include: Red Flag Campaign in October, Love Your Body Day in December, co-sponsor to I 'Heart' Female Orgasm, and Take Back the Night Candlelight Vigil and 5K Run/Walk in March.  OASIS also sponsors the student organization Students Against Violence and co-sponsors R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) Training for Women, a 12 hour program offered each semester, free of charge.  Please contact oasis@etsu.edu for more information about these programs and activities.


Services for Survivors and Allies of Sexual/Relationship Violence

In addition to our programming, OASIS provides services to students who have been directly affected by sexual and relationship violence. OASIS provides a safe, confidential atmosphere in which survivors can explore:

     Individual counseling
    Crisis counseling
    Advocacy services
    Connection to resources in the community

Our counselors can support survivors as they choose to discuss their experiences and explore their options about medical treatment and legal action.  Our counselors can accompany a survivor through the medical treatment and collection of evidence.  Whether or not a survivor chooses to report, an OASIS counselor can serve as an advocate and provide education to promote informed choice.


Definitions of Sexual Assault, Rape and Consent

Sexual Assault – Any unwanted sexual contact, including intercourse, touching, fondling or groping of sexual body parts.  It can be committed by the use of threats or force or when someone takes advantage of circumstances that render a person incapable of giving consent, such as intoxication.

Rape – Any kind of sexual intercourse (penetration) – vaginal, oral, or anal – that is committed against a person’s will or is committed with physical force or the threat of force.  Intercourse during which the victim is drunk, unconscious or otherwise unable to consent is also rape.

Consent – Consent is an agreement that 2 people must make if they want to have sex.  Consent needs to be addressed with clear, open, honest communication.  For consent to be established, please consider these guidelines:

  • Both partners need to be fully conscious and aware;
  • Both partners are equally free to act – both partners must have the option to choose to be intimate or not.  Both partners should be free to change “yes” to “no” at any time.
  • Both partners clearly communicate their willingness and permission – just because a person fails to resist sexual advances does not mean that s/he is willing.  Consent is not the absence of the word “no.”
  • Both partners are positive and sincere in their desires.

Remember, sexual assault and rape are never the fault of the survivor, even if the attacker was an acquaintance, date, friend or spouse.


Keep Yourself Safe

Did you know that…

  • 20-25% of women are sexually assaulted during their college career?
  • Freshman year is the most dangerous for sexual assaults to occur?
  • At least 75% of campus rapes involve alcohol use?
  • 90% of women knew and trusted the person who sexually assaulted or raped them?
  • 57% of college rape victims are attacked by dates?

Keep Yourself Safer.

Communicate clearly.  You have the right to say “no” and “I’m not sure.”

Think about what you really want from a partner before a possibly dangerous or uncomfortable situation occurs.

Use the buddy system.  Arrive at events with friends.  Keep track of your friends and leave with them.

If you or your friend stays behind, create a safety plan.

Drink responsibly.  Know what’s in your drink.  Only drink from un-opened bottles or cans, or drinks that you’ve seen poured.  Avoid punch bowls – they are easiest to drug and you have no idea how much alcohol is in them.

Know which behaviors constitute sexual assault, rape and consent.  Understand that most incidents occur between people that know each other.

If something happens, get help.  There are many resources available to help you recover from painful experiences.

If a friend discloses to you that they have been sexually assaulted, don’t take it all on yourself.  Call (423-439-4841) or email (oasis@etsu.edu) OASIS at the ETSU Counseling Center for support.


Common Reactions of Survivors

It is normal for survivors to experience a range of feelings after a sexual assault, and all survivors will react to the trauma in their own way.

Below is a partial list of some common survivor’s reactions to sexual violence:

  • Shock and disbelief
  • Denial
  • Numbing
  • Apathy
  • Embarrassment, shame, guilt
  • Intense Anger
  • Anxiety, panic attacks
  • Fear, nightmares
  • Disorientation, loss of memory, difficulty concentrating
  • Depression, diminished interest, social withdrawal
  • Loss of self esteem

What To Do If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted

  • Call Public Safety (423-439-4480) or 911 if you need immediate medical or police assistance.
  • Go to a safe place as soon as possible.
  • Ask a friend, family member or someone you trust to stay with you.
  • Try to preserve all evidence of this assault.  Avoid drinking, bathing, showering, douching, brushing your teeth or changing your clothes.
  • Try to write down, or have a friend write down, everything you can remember about the incident.  If you later decide to report or press charges, you will have the details to give to the police.
  • Get medical care.

You may have sustained injuries or contracted a sexually transmitted disease.  At the Johnson City Medical Center emergency room, you may request a S.A.N.E. (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner)  You may also undergo a Physical Evidence Recovery Kit. (PERK), which is very helpful if you later choose to pursue an investigation.  Although the crime will be reported, your name will not be released.

Seek follow-up counseling.  A trained counselor can help you process the emotional trauma of sexual assault.

Call ETSU Counseling Center (423-439-4841), or after hours, call Public Safety (423-439-4480) and ask for the counselor on call.


Dating & Relationship Violence

Relationship Violence is a pattern of behavior in an intimate relationship that is used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation.  The patterns of behavior are in the form of repeated use of words or actions that are designed to demean, intimidate, threaten and instill fear.  These behaviors can be VERBAL, EMOTIONAL or PHYSICAL.

Is your relationship based on power and control?

Violence Chart Nonviolence Chart

Relationship violence does not discriminate.  Violence does not recognize gender, ethnicity, color, socio-economic status, sexual/affectional orientation or age.  If you feel you may be in a relationship of power and control, it is not your fault and you are not to blame.  The ETSU Counseling Center (423-439-4841) can offer support and confidentiality as you explore your options towards staying safe and taking care of yourself.  If you are in immediate danger, call ETSU Public Safety (9-4480) or 911.


Sexual & Relationship Violence Resource List:

National Sexual Assault Hotline  800-656-HOPE

National Domestic Violence Hotline  800-799-7233

National Center for Victims of Crime – Stalking Resource Center  800-FYI-CALL (304-2255)

Gay and Lesbian National Hotline  800-THE-GLNH (843-4564)

“Safe Passage” Domestic Violence Shelter, Johnson City TN  24-Hour Hotline 423-926-7233

www.rainn.org
www.takebackthenight.org/resources.html
www.thesafespace.org
www.silentwitness.net
www.nsvrc.org
www.nnedv.org
www.mencanstoprape.org
www.feminist.com/antiviolence
www.uww.edu/stdRsces/SART/Readings.html  (suggested readings for survivors)