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Know Your Rights

The state of Tennessee has written into law the following rights for victims/survivors of sexual assault

Your rights in the state of Tennessee

You have the right to have an advocate present at any stage of the proceedings

  • Advocates can accompany you to the medical exam, law enforcement interviews, and/or consultations with legal representative

You have the right to have a support person of your choice present during any stage of the proceedings

You have a right to be interviewed by a law enforcement officer of the gender of your choosing 

  • If it is possible for the agency to accommodate the request

You have the right to choose a hold kit

  • You do NOT have to report the sexual assault or meet/speak with law enforcement to have a sexual assault exam

  • Hold kits are maintained in evidence for 10 years 

  • You may choose to prosecute the case at any time within 10 years

  • You will be contacted/informed that the kit is going to be destroyed/disposed of when the 10 years is up

  • You may request the kit be held for an additional 12 months

You have the right to the the tracking number assigned to your sexual assault kit

  • You can check the progress of your kit at any point by visiting TBI SAMS-Track & entering your sexual assault kit number

  • You will be informed of a change in the status of the case, and if the case has been closed

You have the right to request information regarding whether or not a DNA sample was obtained from your kit. 

It is against the law in the state of Tennessee for:

​​A law enforcement officer to ask you to take a polygraph

  • TCA Code 38-3-123

For you to be charged a medical bill for the sexual assault exam 

  • TCA Code 29-13-118

For evidence from the sexual assault kit to be used against you for an unrelated crime or drug offense

  • TCA Code 39-13-507 


Here's What to Expect

You do not have to navigate this alone.


You Are Not to Blame.

Who to call?


National Sexual Assault Hotline



National Domestic Violence Hotline



National Suicide Hotline



National Human Trafficking Hotline


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