Project Safe Center staff provide individualized advocacy to persons impacted by interpersonal violence. Vanderbilt students, faculty, and staff may call the 24-hour crisis and support hotline, walk-in during business hours, schedule an appointment, or visit us during our office hours held in other locations across campus.
Throughout the 2019 Fall Semester, Project Safe Center Victim Resource Specialists are available at Project Safe, Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM, and hold office hours at the following locations:
- Law School, Wednesdays, 3-5 PM, Basement Room 043K
- Black Cultural Center, Tuesdays, 2-4 PM, Resource Room (105)
- McGugin Athletics Center, Mondays 4-6 PM, McCall Room
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.
Some resources are confidential. Confidential resources include licensed professional counselors and mental health providers, such as those at the University Counseling Center and the Work/Life Connections – Employee Assistance Program; pastoral counselors acting in that capacity; and medical professionals acting in a patient-care role, such as those at the Student Health Center, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Emergency Department, or other clinics or hospitals. These confidential resources do not report any information about an incident to the Title IX Office or anyone else without the permission of the person consulting them. Off-campus counselors and health care providers will also generally maintain confidentiality and not share information with the University unless the person consulting them requests the disclosure and signs a consent or waiver form. However, under state or federal law, all resources may have other reporting obligations. For example, healthcare providers and certain other individuals are required to notify law enforcement when someone seeks treatment for injuries caused by a violent crime, including sexual assault. Similarly, all persons are required to notify law enforcement or the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) when they receive a report of sexual or any abuse of a minor (see Protection of Minors on Campus section below). Anyone who at first utilizes a confidential resource may later decide to make a report to a non-confidential resource, such as the Title IX Office or law enforcement.
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/.
Responsible Employees Who Are Mandatory Reporters Under Title IX
A responsible employee is a Vanderbilt employee who has a duty to report all alleged violations of this policy because the employee has the authority to address sexual misconduct or because a member of the University community could reasonably believe that the employee has such authority. Responsible employees are mandatory reporters; they are not confidential resources. Generally, with the exception of the confidential resources discussed above, a University employee to whom a community member reports an incident of sexual misconduct is a mandatory reporter. This includes faculty members, teaching assistants, and most staff. A non-exhaustive list of mandatory reporters is contained in the Appendix at the end of this policy.
Mandatory reporters are required to report possible violations of this policy to the Title IX Coordinator or the Title IX Office staff. Mandatory reporters must report names, if known, and all relevant details about the alleged sexual misconduct, so that the University can take steps to address the matter promptly and resolve it fairly. Conversations with mandatory reporters are otherwise kept private to the extent possible and are only disclosed to those with a need or right to know.
Before a mandatory reporter receives any information regarding an instance of sexual misconduct, the mandatory reporter should seek to confirm that the reporting party understands the employee’s reporting obligations and, if the reporting party wants to maintain confidentiality, direct the reporting party to a confidential resource.
If a victim wants to tell a mandatory reporter about an incident but does not want the report investigated or the victim’s name disclosed, the employee will tell the victim that the University will consider the request but cannot guarantee that the University will be able to honor it. In reporting the details of an incident to the Title IX Office, the mandatory reporter will also inform the Title IX Office of the victim’s request for confidentiality.
Mandatory reporters will not pressure a victim or other reporting party either to request confidentiality or make a full report.
Anonymous and Third-Party Reporting
The University encourages victims of sexual misconduct to talk to someone to ensure their health and wellbeing. 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
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
Additional Support for Vanderbilt Students – MANDATORY REPORTERS
- Office of the Dean of Students: 615-322-6400
- Office of Housing and Residential Education: 615-322-2591
- Office of Student Care Coordination: 615-343-9355
- Center for Student Wellbeing: 615-322-0480
- Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center: 615-322-4843
- Office of LGBTQI Life: 615-322-3330
- Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center: 615-322-2524
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
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.
Vanderbilt will implement appropriate interim remedial and protective measures on its own initiative or in response to a request from a complainant or respondent. While interim measures are not punitive and are intended to provide support and relief to the parties involved in or affected by sexual misconduct, they may impact one or more parties. Such measures will remain in effect as long as necessary, depending on the relevant facts and circumstances.
Parties may request interim measures from the Title IX Office (students), the Equal Employment Opportunity Office (faculty/staff/postdoctoral fellows/trainees), the Project Safe Center, 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 interim 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 or Director of Equal Employment Opportunity will oversee the interim measure(s) provided.
Interim 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 (may refer to persons and/or locations) (see No Contact Orders section below);
- 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;
- limiting or barring access to certain Vanderbilt-owned facilities or activities;
- interim residential suspension of the respondent (removal from University housing);
- interim suspension of the respondent;
- student-requested leaves of absence.
Interim 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;
- limiting or barring access to certain Vanderbilt-owned facilities or activities;
- providing an escort for transit around campus;
- administrative leave;
- Vanderbilt-imposed leave or physical separation from individuals or locations.