Home » FAQ


Q: Who is impacted by power-based personal violence?

A: While women are disproportionately affected, anyone can be a victim of power-based personal violence (PBPV).

Q: Is rape just a heterosexual phenomenon?

A: No. Rape is a crime that is also perpetrated in the LGBTQI community. Our knowledge about the frequency of sexual assault in the LGBTQI community is limited largely due to the heterosexual bias in our reporting and laws.

Q: What are the statistics of male victims of sexual assault?

A: The national Institute for Justice and the CDC estimate that about 3% of men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. Other data estimates this number to be closer to 10%. Another study estimated that about 3% of boys in grades 5-8 and 5% of boys in grades 9-12 said they had been sexually abused. While this isn’t an equal opportunity crime, there is something that boys and girls, men and women share with regard to power-based personal violence. It leaves victims feeling traumatized, confused, scared, and often overwhelmed. It creates scars that can last a lifetime.

Q: What should I take away from this training?

A: There are three very important take-aways:

  1. No student should have to be profoundly impacted by personal violence because they lacked information about when, why and how it occurs. We want you to know how to reduce your risk of being assaulted and how to reduce your risk of committing assault.
  2. If you have been a victim of an assault and want to talk with someone about it, call Project Safe at (615) 322-7233 free of charge. The advocates at Project Safe can help you talk about your experiences and walk you through your options. You can also request help from the Psychological and Counseling Center (PCC) on campus. They can be reached at (615) 322-2571. You can also contact the Dean of Students Mark Bandas at (615) 322-6400 or the Title IX Coordinator, Anita Jenious, at (615) 322-4705 to report.
  3. You can intervene in a situation that you know is not right. And you can make a difference. We know that anyone can intervene. So stand up, don’t stand by. If you want to get involved to end sexual violence, contact the Project Safe Center at projectsafe@vanderbilt.edu.

Q:  What exactly does an advocate do?

A: An advocate is someone who provides crisis counseling support and referrals to victims of sexual or interpersonal violence. They are there to listen, believe you, provide you with information and help you make the best possible decision for you about what happens next. They can talk with you about your medical needs, your legal rights, your reporting options and talk about the healing process.

Q: What if I am not ready to report something that happened to me?

A: If you are a victim of assault and you are not ready to report it, that’s okay. We encourage you to contact the Project Safe hotline at (615) 322-7233 or the Psychological and Counseling Center at (615) 322-2571 just to talk. Talking through the feelings, thoughts and memories you may have about an incident that happened to you is really important. You have options. And the advocates at Project Safe or the counselors at the PCC can help you talk through them and help you make the best decisions for you.

Q: Is there anything else I need to know to understand this issue on campus?

A: Yes! Know that all students at Vanderbilt University are accountable to the rules in the University’s Student Code of Conduct, as well as to all relevant state and federal laws. Students found responsible for violating the Code can face University sanctions, such as disciplinary warning, probation, suspension or expulsion. Offenses that are violations of the University’s Code and are also violations of state or federal laws can be prosecuted separately through the legal system and if the person is found guilty, can result in civil or criminal penalties, such as probation, fines, jail, and/or prison.

Q: So does this mean that a student may be held responsible under both the University’s Student Code of Conduct and the law?

A: Yes! However, it’s also important to understand that the two processes operate independently from one another. Even if there is a parallel criminal or civil proceeding, the University does not wait for criminal or civil charges to be filed or for a student to be found guilty in a court of law before pursuing its own administrative process related to the Code and, if applicable, issuing University sanctions.

More Questions?

Didn’t see your question? Call the Project Safe Center at (615) 875-0660 or drop them an email at projectsafe@vanderbilt.edu.

For information call (615) 875-0660 or email at projectsafe@vanderbilt.edu

Who should watch the VU PETSA videos?

VU PETSA is for the entire Vanderbilt community and anyone interested in ending sexual violence. All first year and transfer students are required to complete the VU PETSA online tutorial and quiz. We invite everyone to explore this website, view the videos, and offer feedback by emailing us at projectsafe@vanderbilt.edu

How does it work?

VU PETSA is an online tutorial available in OAK and The Learning Exchange that comprises seven short videos and a quiz. It typically takes 20-30 minutes to complete. All incoming students are required to complete the module.