Go to a safe place immediately. This may be a friend’s room, the police station, the hospital, or another place where you feel safe. It is important to find a place where you are safe from harm.
Call someone to be with you. Call a friend, family member, or someone else you can trust to be with you. You can call TTU Police at 911 or 372-3234 (on campus) who will then contact a campus advocate to be with you. Or you may call Genesis House Sexual Assault Response Center at 526-5197 or 800-707-5197 where volunteers are available 24 hours a day to respond.
By calling the police at 911, you are reporting the crime that was committed against you and seeking police protection. Remember if you report to the police, the decision to continue with the legal proceedings is determined by the evidence collected and the District Attorney.
Preserve physical evidence. Do not shower, bathe, douche, or otherwise clean yourself. If possible, do not urinate. Do not eat, drink liquids, smoke, or brush teeth if oral contact took place. If you must change your clothes, save all clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault. Do not disturb anything in the area where the assault occurred. If you have changed your clothes, take those you were wearing at the time of the assault to the hospital or Genesis House in a paper bag (plastic may destroy important evidence).
Get medical attention: Physical safety and medical attention are of primary importance. You could be physically injured, become pregnant, or have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease. Medical attention is available at Genesis House Sexual Response Center, 526-5197 or 800-707-5197, or Cookeville Regional Medical Center, 528-2541. If done promptly, a medical examination can obtain important evidence should you decide to prosecute.
Write down as much as you can remember about the assailant and the assault. If you decide to report or press charges, you will have the details to give the police.
Seek counseling. Whether or not you report the assault or prosecute, a trained counselor can help you with the emotional trauma of an assault. Confidential emergency and follow-up counseling are available through the TTU Counseling Center, 372-3331, and Genesis House Sexual Assault Response Center, 526-5197 or 800-707-5197.
Reporting the assault. The decision about whether to report a rape or other sexual assault to University officials and/or police is a personal and individual decision. There are no easy answers regarding whether you should report to university officials, law enforcement, or file criminal charges. It is in your best interest to have someone you trust who can support you through the decision-making process.
There are several options available to a student who was a victim of sexual violence and who decides to report. In addition to bringing charges in criminal or civil court the victim may also seek recourse through university disciplinary process if the perpetrator is a student.
Reporting a rape or sexual assault to University officials or filing a police report creates a record should you decide to sign a criminal complaint. TTU Police, Residential Life, and Health Services must inform university administration and local law enforcement that an alleged sexual assault has occurred. Once reported, the decision to continue with legal proceedings is determined by the evidence collected and the District Attorney.
Genesis House Sexual Assault Response Center is not required to report sexual assault to law enforcement unless you choose to do so. Medical attention sought at Cookeville Regional Medical Center and the TTU Health Services does result in reporting to law enforcement.
The location of the crime determines which law enforcement agency will be responsible for the investigation. Cookeville Police or Putnam County Sheriff’s Department respond when an assault takes place off campus.
University Disciplinary Procedures
Sexual assault, in addition to being a violation of state law, is a violation of the TTU Students Conduct Code. When the perpetrator is a student, the victim may initiate campus disciplinary action. In order to bring charges of sexual assault against another student, a student must initiate the judicial process by contacting the Dean of Students Office, 372-3237. For more information about the university disciplinary process, please refer to the **TTU Student Handbook (get from studenthandbook).
Alcohol and Rape
Alcohol is the number one drug used to facilitate sexual violence and rape. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism 2002 report on college drinking estimates that more than 70,000 students, age 18-24, are victims of alcohol related rape/sexual assault each year.
The effects of alcohol include impaired judgment and motor coordination, disinhibition, dizziness, confusion, and extreme drowsiness. If enough alcohol is consumed, an individual may lose consciousness or may not remember details of what occurred. Alcohol can also cause the misinterpretation of body language and sexual intent. For example, men may overestimate women’s interest in sexual activity and friendly behavior may be mistaken for sexual intent.
Drugs and Rape
Predatory drugs, often called date rape drugs, are causing increasing concern on college and university campuses. The term predatory drug is used to describe substances such as Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine, drugs commonly used to facilitate rape and other forms of sexual violence. But technically, any substance that is used to prevent you from asserting yourself or your needs is a predatory drug. This includes marijuana, ecstasy, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, and alcohol, which is the most commonly used drug to facilitate rape and sexual assault.
Predatory drugs are easily slipped into food and beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. They are very fast acting and render a person incapable of making appropriate decisions. They impair judgment, motor coordination, and the ability to remember details of what happened while the drug was active in the person’s system. This produces a passive victim, one who is aware and able to play a part in what is happening, but who will have no clear memory of events afterward. The use of predatory drugs creates a victim who does not have the opportunity to say no.
Sexual predators rarely use these drugs with the intent of using them safely. It is not likely that a predator has taken the time to measure out a safe dose; therefore one person may feel dizziness or confusion while another person may lapse into a coma.
Predatory drugs are virtually undetectable in food and beverages; most are colorless, odorless, and tasteless. All traces of most predatory drugs leave the body within 72 hours of ingestion. Because of memory loss and the speed at which the drugs metabolize, it can be difficult to make and support a claim that such a drug was used to facilitate sexual violence. Doctors and police have to be looking specifically for them and they have to act quickly.
Signs that you may have been drugged:
You may have been drugged if you wake up very hung over, have a memory lapse or a period of time you cannot account for, remember having a drink but not what happened afterwards, feel as though someone had sex with you, but you can't remember, have unexplainable signs of physical trauma, or you have sensations of drunkenness that do not correspond with the amount of alcohol consumed.
What to do if you think you have been drugged and you want to seek medical assistance:
The above information regarding alcohol and drugs is from the University of Georgia "Sexual Violence, Rape, and You" website. For more information about specific predatory drugs, visit their website.
Sexual assault is a serious problem that affects both men and women. It is important to remember that no one is ever at fault for being a victim of sexual violence. The perpetrator is always responsible for violent behavior. Although personal safety can never by guaranteed, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of being the victim of sexual assaults. Things you can do:
Relationship violence is the use of abusive behavior in order to have power and control in an intimate relationship. Relationship violence is sometimes called intimate partner violence or domestic violence. Within a relationship, violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, mental, verbal, spiritual, or any combination of the above.
Signs of an abusive relationship include being with someone who:
If you are in an abusive relationship, you may feel embarrassed, ashamed, afraid, or even guilty. These feelings and many other conflicting emotions are common in such relationships. Violence can happen in long-term or newly-formed relationships. Relationship violence can occur regardless of socio-economic status, ethnicity, color, creed, sexual orientation, or age.
Persons who are in abusive relationships often feel overwhelmed and may benefit from having someone with whom to speak. The TTU Counseling Center (372-3331) has trained counselors with whom you can talk about your concerns. Genesis House, Inc. (526-5197 or 800-707-5197) also provides counseling for individuals who are in violent or abusive relationships.
For confidential advice and support:
TTU Counseling Center
Roaden University Center Room 307
Phone: (931) 372-3331
Genesis House, Inc.
24 Hour Crisis Line (800) 707-5197 or (931) 526-5197
TTU Employee Assistance Program
Magellan Health Services
Phone: (800) 308-4934
For medical assistance:
Cookeville Regional Medical Center
142 West Fifth Street Phone: (931) 528-2541
Genesis House, Inc.
24 Hour Crisis Line (800) 707-5197 or (931) 526-5197
**TTU Health Services(get from healthservices)
90 W. 8th Street
Phone: (931) 372-3320
To report an offense to law enforcement:
845 N. Dixie Avenue
Phone: 372-3234 or 911
Cookeville City Police 911 or (931) 526-2300
Putnam County Sheriff 911 or (931) 528-8484
To report an offense to the University
Dean of Students Office
Roaden University Center, Room 339