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Counseling Center

Division of Student Life and Enrollment

Sexual Assault

OASIS information is meant to be educational in nature and to help increase dialogue and discussion about this important topic. Refer to ETSU’s Student Sexual Misconduct Policy for specific ETSU policy information.  


Important Definitions 

What is Consent?
Consent is an informed decision, freely given, made through mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.  Consent cannot be given by an individual who is asleep; unconscious; or mentally or physically incapacitated, either through the effect of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason; or, is under duress, threat, coercion, or force.

See the ETSU Violence Free website for definitions of Stalking, Sexual Harassment, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Battery, Rape and other important terms.


Did you know that...

  • the number of incidents of women sexually assaulted during their college career is highly underreported, with estimates in the 20 -25%?
  • the first year year is the most dangerous for sexual assaults to occur?
  • the vast majority of campus rapes involve alcohol use, estimates are as many as 75%?
  • most incidents involve an acquaintance, with nearly 90% of women stating they knew and trusted the person who sexually assaulted or raped them and 57% of college rape victims stating they were attacked by dates?

Keep Yourself Safer.


- Always trust your instincts

- 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 (423-439-3333) or email ( OASIS at the ETSU Counseling Center for support.

Be a Safe Partner


- Regard your own actions and behaviors honestly and objectively.

- Learn to recognize sexism, and challenge yourself to stop it when it occurs.

- Talk about sex. Sex without discussion does not allow consent to be communicated.

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

-If you see someone dosing someone's drink, or hear about a "drugged" punch bowl, confront the behavior. Warn the people they are trying to drug.  Turn the predator in to public safety or student life and enrollment.

- Men, realize that sexual violence is a men's issue. The vast majority of all rapes and sexual assaults are committed by men (98%). Sexual violence can have long-term repercussions on the relationships of those with whom we interact. Your mother, sister, friend, girlfriend or wife could potentially be victims of sexual violence and trauma.

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

For confidential support call The Counseling Center (423-439-3333). Someone will walk you through your options. After hours you can access BUCSPress2, our 24/7 helpline, by calling (423) 439-4841 and pressing "2".

If you are still in immediate danger OR you need immediate medical assistance call ETSU Public Safety, (423) 439-4480, or 911. Please note that these are NOT confidential options.

For more information visit ETSU Violence Free.

Here are some other suggestions:

  • 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.
  • 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 investigation. Although the crime will be reported your name will not be released. You can refuse further investigation and the S.A.N.E. nurse will act as your advocate through the process. SANE is also available at University Health Services during office hours.
  • 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.
  • Seek follow-up counseling. A trained counselor can help you process the emotional trauma of sexual assault.


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