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24-Hour Crisis/Support Hotline: (615) 322-SAFE (7233)

Advocacy Services

The Project Safe Center provides individual advocacy to VU community members impacted by any form of sexual misconduct, regardless of when or where it has occurred. Vanderbilt students, faculty, and staff may call the 24-hour crisis and support hotline (615) 322-7233, call our office line (615)875-0660, or email us at projectsafe@vanderbilt.edu to schedule a phone or video appointment.

Yes, we are open with virtual services available!  Project Safe is open for advocacy appointments during our usual business hours of Monday-Friday 8 AM to 5 PM.  Video call and phone call appointments remain available and may be scheduled by calling (615) 875-0660.  If you are already connected with a Victim Resource Specialist, please feel free to communicate with them directly via email.  We continue to offer prevention education, trainings, and workshops and the Resilience Support Group in a virtual format. Remember, we’re always available via our crisis and support hotline 24 hours a day at (615) 322-7233.

During the Fall 2020 semester, Project Safe is also offering the following drop-in advocacy hours:

Project Safe drop-in hours over Zoom will utilize the Waiting Room feature to ensure student privacy.  While rare, you could experience wait times of 15-60 minutes, depending upon if the Victim Resource Specialist is already meeting with another student.  If you need immediate assistance, please call the crisis hotline.

Additional Information: Resources and Support

Any member of the Vanderbilt community who has experienced or been impacted by sexual misconduct, including prior to their affiliation with Vanderbilt, may seek immediate and/or ongoing assistance from one or more of the resources outlined below.  Some of these resources are confidential; others are subject to mandatory reporting requirements.  This policy indicates the level of confidentiality offered by the listed resources.

Limited Confidential Resource
Individuals who work at the Project Safe Center, including front desk staff and graduate assistants, can generally talk to any person impacted by sexual misconduct without revealing any personally identifying information about an incident to others within the University.  A person can seek assistance and support from Project Safe Center staff without triggering a University investigation that could reveal that person’s identity or that the person has disclosed the incident.  However, a person who self-discloses to Project Safe Center staff that he/she/they (or other pronoun used by the student) engaged in a possible violation of this policy may not be entitled to limited confidentiality.

Without disclosing personally identifying information about the victim, the Project Safe Center will notify the Title IX Office of the nature, date, time, and general location of an incident.  The Project Safe Center will also notify the Title IX Office of the name of the alleged perpetrator, if known, when the alleged perpetrator is affiliated with Vanderbilt University as a faculty member, staff member, postdoctoral fellow/trainee, teaching assistant, independent contractor, adviser, or in any other similar capacity, other than as a student.  This notification helps keep the Title IX Office informed of the general extent and nature of sexual violence on and off campus, and allows for tracking patterns, evaluating the scope of the problem, and formulating appropriate campus-wide responses.

Project Safe Center staff can assist in providing additional information, including potentially identifying information, to the Title IX Office, if the victim so wishes.  Anyone who at first notifies Project Safe Center staff may later decide to make a report to the Title IX Office or law enforcement.

Project Safe Center staff can assist a victim with interim remedial and protective measures; however, the provision of interim measures that involve a non-confidential University department or impact another person may require the disclosure of identifying information to the relevant department and person as well as the Title IX Office.

While Project Safe Center staff may maintain a victim’s confidentiality vis-a-vis the University, they may have reporting obligations under state and federal law, which include:

  • Reporting incidents involving victims who are minors;
  • Disclosing information regarding a threat of imminent harm to self or others;
  • Testifying if subpoenaed in a criminal case; and
  • Complying with other federal, state, and local laws.

In addition, if Project Safe Center staff determines that the respondent poses a serious and/or immediate threat to the University community (based on, for example, the nature and severity of the incident or whether there is a pattern of misconduct), they will disclose all relevant information to the appropriate University authorities, including, but not limited to, the Title IX Office.

Project Safe Center staff will provide non-identifying information, similar to that provided to the Title IX Office, to the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD) for crime statistics reporting under the Clery Act.  The information reported may result in the issuance of a timely warning or security notice to the community, but the warning will not include any information that identifies the victim.

For more information about the services provided by the Project Safe Center and for contact information for Project Safe Center staff, please visit https://vanderbilt.edu//projectsafe/.

Anonymous and Third-Party Reporting
The University encourages victims of sexual misconduct to talk to someone to ensure their health and well-being.  The University provides several resources for anonymous reporting for victims who do not wish to be identified.  Anonymous reports may be made to the Project Safe Center at 615-322-7233.  Students may also report anonymously to the Community Standards hotline at 615-343-7867.  In addition, Vanderbilt has established a hotline for anonymous reporting through the Vanderbilt University Compliance Reporting Hotline, an independently-operated compliance hotline that may be used to report incidents of apparent wrongdoing on campus.  The Compliance Reporting Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year at 844-814-5935 or at http://www.vanderbiltcompliancehotline.ethicspoint.com.  NOTE: These resources, aside from the Project Safe Center, should not be used for immediate assistance.

Vanderbilt encourages third parties to report incidents of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Office, VUPD, or the Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD).  Third parties may also report incidents to any mandatory reporter or through the anonymous reporting resources identified above.  The University may not be able to move forward based on a third-party report if the victim does not wish to cooperate with an investigation.  After providing a report, third parties are not entitled to information about the University’s investigation and response due to privacy concerns and applicable federal and state laws.

Contact Information for Resources
Any member of the Vanderbilt University community who has experienced sexual misconduct may seek immediate and/or ongoing assistance from one or more of the following resources. The resources listed will provide assistance whether or not the victim chooses to make a report to the Title IX Office or law enforcement, or to participate in an investigation.

Victim Advocacy Services – CONFIDENTIAL (LIMITED)

  • Vanderbilt Project Safe Center Support Line (24/7/365): 615-322-SAFE (7233)

Law Enforcement – NOT CONFIDENTIAL; VUPD IS MANDATORY REPORTER

  • Vanderbilt University Police Department: 615-322-2745
    Emergency: 911 or 615-421-1911
  • Metro Nashville Police Department: 615-862-8600
    Emergency: 911

Medical Service Providers – CONFIDENTIAL (but required to notify law enforcement when a person seeks treatment for injuries caused by a violent crime)

  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center Emergency Services: 615-322-0160
  • For Students: Student Health Center: 615-322-2427
  • For Faculty and Staff: Occupational Health Clinic: 615-936-0955

Counseling Services – CONFIDENTIAL

  • For Students:
    • Vanderbilt University Counseling Center: 615-322-2571
    • Vanderbilt Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life: 615-322-2457
  • For Faculty and Staff:
    • Work/Life Connections – Employee Assistance Program: 615-936-1327
    • Faculty and Physician Wellness Program: 615-936-1327
    • Nurse Wellness Program: 615-936-1327

Resources in the Community – NO MANDATORY REPORT TO VANDERBILT

  • Sexual Assault Center Hotline: 1-800-879-1999
  • YWCA Crisis and Information Line: 615-242-1199
  • St. Thomas Midtown Hospital Emergency Department: 615-284-5555
  • Nashville General Hospital at Meharry Emergency Department: 615-341-4000
  • TriStar Centennial Medical Center Emergency Department: 615-342-1000

Additional Information

VUPD and MNPD are available for emergency response, facilitating medical transport, investigating incidents of a criminal nature, referrals, and advice concerning and/or assistance with preserving evidence. VUPD also provides support for crime victims and is available to accompany them to court.

The medical service providers listed above are available to treat injuries and possible sexually transmitted infections and diseases, as well as for other health services and consultations. If the victim requests a forensic examination, one can be performed at the Student Health Center (Monday through Friday, 6:00 am to 6:00 pm) or the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Emergency Department (ED) (24/7/365) by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) on site. Please note that medical treatment and a forensic examination may aid in the preservation of relevant evidence. Even victims who are unsure as to whether or not they want to make a police report or take action against the respondent may wish to have a forensic examination; having a forensic exam facilitates the identification and preservation of physical evidence associated with the assault.

Tennessee law requires all medical personnel to report to law enforcement when a person seeks treatment for injuries caused by a violent crime, including sexual assault. Medical personnel are also required to report to law enforcement and/or Child Protective Services when a minor presents for treatment for any injury or condition that reasonably indicates it was caused by violence or abuse, including physical or sexual abuse. Medical personnel are also required to report to law enforcement and/or Adult Protective Services when certain vulnerable adults present and there is reasonable belief that they are victims of adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

Upon request, a Victim Resource Specialist from the Project Safe Center will meet a student at a medical service provider, law enforcement agency, or other location for assistance or consultation. Project Safe Center Victim Resource Specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The Project Safe Center, Work/Life Connections – Employee Assistance Program, Faculty and Physician Wellness Program, Nurse Wellness Program, and the community resources listed above are also available to assist members of the Vanderbilt community.  Students, faculty or staff members, and postdoctoral fellows/trainees seen at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center ED may also obtain victim support through the Nashville Sexual Assault Center.

Immediate Priority—Preserving Evidence: To help preserve evidence, victims are advised not to change clothes or bedding, take a shower, douche, or clean up until evidence has been collected by the police or SANE. Evidence may still be available even if the victim has changed clothes or cleaned up/showered. Therefore, victims should leave any clothes or bedding that may contain evidence unfolded and undisturbed, if possible. If clothing or bedding must be moved, each item should be kept separate to prevent transfer of body fluids or other trace evidence. Victims and witnesses should also not delete or destroy any potentially relevant video or text messages, messages through other social media outlets (e.g., Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tinder, Grindr, etc.), emails, voicemails, written notes, or any other media, including hard-copy documents.

Supportive Measures 
Vanderbilt will implement appropriate interim supportive remedial and protective measures on its own initiative or in response to a request from a student. Supportive measures are not punitive and are intended to provide support and relief to the parties involved in or affected by sexual misconduct.

Parties may request supportive measures from the Project Safe Center or from the Title IX Office, the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity (Student Accountability) or the Associate Dean of Students for Community Standards and Student Support.  Parties may request supportive measures even in cases where an investigation is not undertaken or either party has declined to participate in the University proceeding or the criminal process.  In all instances, the University will determine the reasonableness of the request and the Title IX Coordinator will oversee the interim measure(s) provided.

Supportive measures for students may include, but are not limited to:

  • access to on-campus counseling services and assistance in setting up an initial appointment;
  • no contact orders issued by Student Accountability;
  • rescheduling of academic exams and assignments;
  • providing alternative course completion options;
  • changing class schedules, including the ability to transfer course sections or withdraw from a course;
  • changing work schedules, job assignments, or job locations for University employment;
  • changing residence hall assignments;
  • providing an escort for transit between classes and activities;
  • providing academic support services, such as tutoring;
  • student-requested leaves of absence.

Supportive measures for faculty, staff, and postdoctoral fellows/trainees may include, but are not limited to:

  • access to on-campus counseling services and assistance in setting up an initial appointment;
  • changing work schedules, job assignments, or job locations;
  • providing an escort for transit around campus.