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SEXUAL ASSAULT

What is sexual assault?

 

Sexual Assault. - Intentional sexual contact characterized by use of force, threats, intimidation, or abuse of authority or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Sexual assault includes rape, forcible sodomy (oral or anal sex), and other unwanted sexual contact that is aggravated, abusive, or wrongful (including unwanted and inappropriate sexual contact), or attempts to commit these acts. [Source: Glossary, DoDD 6495.01, 23 Jan 12]

I have been sexually assaulted. What should I do?

 

If you have been sexually assaulted or think you have been, go to a safe location away from the perpetrator. If you want to talk with someone or want assistance, you have individuals who are ready to help. Make sure you understand the difference between a restricted and unrestricted report so that those you reach out to will understand your needs and can best assist you.

You may contact your local Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), Victim Advocate (VA) or healthcare provider. Your communication with the SARC, VA or healthcare provider is privileged and confidential except in specific circumstances. While a chaplain cannot take a restricted report, communication with a chaplain may be privileged under the Military Rules of Evidence or applicable statutes and regulations when they are made confidentially and as a formal act of religion or as a matter of conscience. Chaplains may not disclose a confidential or privileged communication revealed in the practice of their ministry without the individual's informed consent.

You may also contact your chain of command or law enforcement (military or civilian); however, if you contact your chain of command or law enforcement, an investigation will occur, and you will not have the option of making a restricted report (see below). Seek medical care as soon as possible. Even if, like many sexual assault victims, you do not have any visible physical injuries, you may be at risk of becoming pregnant or acquiring a sexually transmitted disease. Ask the healthcare provider to conduct a sexual assault forensic examination to preserve forensic evidence in case you decide later that you want to file an unrestricted report of sexual assault which may lead to prosecution. If you suspect you may have been drugged, request that a urine sample be collected. Preserve all evidence of the assault. Even if you feel an intense need to clean yourself, do not bathe, wash your hands, eat, drink, or brush your teeth. Do not clean or straighten up the crime scene. You may not be thinking clearly due to the trauma, so taking these steps at the outset will help preserve evidence that investigators or law enforcement personnel may need to collect in the event that you file an unrestricted report.

Search the SAPR Regional/Local SARCs Contact Information.  You can also receive 24/7 anonymous assistance at the DOD SAFE Helpline at 877-995-5247

For these items see the Tabbed Sub-Pages below.

 
 
OD SAPR:
Comm: (850) 452-9553


OTC SAPR:
Comm: (401) 841-6891


RTC SAPR:
Comm: (847) 561-6517


NSTC SAPR POC:
Comm: (847) 688-7600 ext. 178
email: NSTCSAPR@navy.mil


SAPR Regional/Local SARCs Contact Information
 

MILITARY SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION AND RESPONSE (SAPR) PROGRAM

SERVICE MEMBER GUIDANCE

 

What Constitutes Sexual Assault

 

Sexual assault is a crime. It is defined as intentional sexual contact, characterized by use of force, physical threat or abuse of authority or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Sexual assault includes:

  • Rape
  • Non-consensual sodomy (oral or anal sex)
  • Indecent assault (unwanted, inappropriate sexual contact or fondling) or attempts to commit these acts.

Sexual assault can occur without regard to gender or spousal relationship or age of victim.

Absence of Consent

 

Sexual assault occurs when consent is not given for sexual contact. Lack of consent can be assumed regardless of whether a victim resists physically. Consent is also not given when a person uses force, threat of force, coercion or when the victim is asleep, incapacitated (due to drugs, alcohol, or other foreign substances) or unconscious. Other sex-related offenses are defined as all other sexual acts or acts in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) that do not meet the above definition of sexual assault, or the definition of sexual harassment as in DoD Directive 1350.2, Department of Defense Military Equal Opportunity. Examples of other sex-related offenses could include indecent acts with another Service member and adultery. For the specific articles of sexual assault offenses under the UCMJ, see the Manual for Courts-Martial:Article 120, (232 Kb)Article 125, (79 Kb)Article 134, (438 Kb)
Download the full manual from: http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/MCM-2008.pdf

 

Reporting Options - Restricted Reporting


This option is for adult victims of sexual assault who wish to confidentially disclose the crime to specifically identified individuals without triggering the official investigative process or notification to command. Service Members or their adult military dependents who desire Restricted Reporting under this policy must use one of the following reporting avenues:
 
  • Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC)
  • SAPR Victim Advocate (VA)
  • Healthcare Provider or Personnel
While Special Victims Counsel and chaplains have confidentiality/privilege, they CANNOT accept a Restricted Report.

 

Who May Make a Restricted Report?


Who is eligible for a Restricted Report? At this time, only military personnel of the Armed Forces and their adult dependents are eligible to file a Restricted Report. Service members who were victims of sexual assault PRIOR to enlistment or commissioning are eligible to receive SAPR services under either reporting option. The DoD shall provide support to a Service member regardless of when or where the sexual assault took place. National Guard (NG) and Reserve Component members who are sexually assaulted when performing active service or inactive duty training, or if reporting a sexual assault that occurred prior to, or while not performing active service or inactive training, are eligible to receive SAPR support advocacy services from a SARC and a SAPR VA and the appropriate referrals, if requested, and are eligible to file a Restricted or Unrestricted Report.

 

Who is not eligible? Military retirees, DoD civilians, and DoD contractor victims currently may use only Unrestricted Reporting. The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program does not handle domestic violence cases. They are handled by the Family Advocacy Program.

 

Understanding DoD's Restricted (Confidential) Reporting Policy


DoD's Restricted (Confidential) Reporting Policy permits adult victims of sexual assault to report the crime to specified individuals (SARC, SAPR VA, or healthcare personnel) who can then ensure the victim receives healthcare (medical and mental health), advocacy services (from a SARC or SAPR VA), and legal advice (from a Special Victims Counsel) without notifying command or law enforcement officials. For purposes of public safety and command responsibility, the SARC will notify the installation commander that “an assault” has occurred and provide very limited details that do NOT include the identity of the victim. See the Department of Defense Directive 6495.01, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program for complete details.

 

This policy provides victims some personal space and time and increased control over the release and management of their personal information. This is intended to empower them to seek relevant information and support to make more informed decisions about participating in the criminal investigation. Jurisdictions with similar policies have found that confidentiality actually leads to increased reporting rates. Even if the victim chooses not to pursue an official investigation, the commander does receive the anonymous reporting information, which in turn, gives commanders a clearer picture of the sexual violence within their command and enhances a commander's ability to provide an environment which is safe and contributes to the well-being and mission readiness of all of its members.

 

Restricted Reporting Example

 
  • Service Member Smith arrives at the base medical emergency room and reports she has been sexually assaulted. Healthcare personnel immediately notify the SARC and begin any appropriate emergency medical treatment. Military law enforcement is NOT contacted.
  • The SARC assigns a SAPR VA to assist Service Member Smith. The SAPR VA meets Service Member Smith at the hospital and explains the Unrestricted and Restricted Reporting options and the processes associated with each, to include applicable pros and cons.
  • Service Member Smith elects the Restricted Reporting option.
  • Service Member Smith is asked if she would like a forensic examination, and she agrees.
  • The SAPR VA advises the healthcare personnel that Service Member Smith has elected the Restricted Reporting option and would like a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE).
  • Forensic evidence of the assault is collected and preserved, and a computer-generated number is placed on the evidence instead of the victim’s name.
  • The healthcare personnel determines and schedules follow-up healthcare (medical and mental health) as appropriate, or as requested by the victim.
  • The SAPR VA advises the SARC that Service Member Smith has elected the Restricted Reporting option.
  • Within 24 hours of Service Member Smith's Restricted Report, the SARC will inform the senior commander that “an assault” has occurred, and provide the commander with details related to the sexual assault allegation but will NOT include the victim’s name or information that could allow the commander to easily deduce the name. Careful consideration of which details to include is of particular significance at smaller locations like a Forward Operating Base or a submarine.
  • The SARC maintains information regarding the number of sexual assaults for both Unrestricted and Restricted Reports. Restricted Report numbers will be included in the DoD SAPR annual report.
  • The SAPR VA maintains communication and contact with the victim as needed for continued victim support.

 

Considerations When Electing a Restricted Reporting Decision


Benefits
 
  • It is crucial to your recovery that you receive healthcare (medical and mental health) and victim advocacy as soon as possible after you are assaulted.
  • Provides personal space and time to consider your options and to begin the healing process.
  • Empowers you to seek relevant information and support to make more informed decisions about participating in the criminal investigation. Allows you time to get legal advice from a Special Victims Counsel.
  • You control the release and management of your personal information.
  • You decide whether and when to move forward with initiating an investigation.
 
Limitations
 
  • Your assailant cannot be held accountable and may be capable of assaulting other victims.
  • You cannot receive a military protective order.
  • You cannot request an Expedited Transfer to allow you to move to a different base.
  • You will continue to have contact with your assailant, if he or she is in your organization or billeted with you.
  • Evidence from the crime scene where the assault occurred will be lost, and the official investigation, should you switch to an Unrestricted Report, will likely encounter significant obstacles.
  • You should not discuss the assault with anyone, to include your friends, because they may be mandatory reporters. The only exceptions would be chaplains, healthcare personnel, your assigned SAPR VA or SARC, and Special Victims Counsel.

 

This option is recommended for victims of sexual assault who desire an official investigation and command notification in addition to healthcare, victim advocacy and legal services. When selecting Unrestricted Reporting, you should use current reporting channels, e.g.:
 
  • Law Enforcement/MCIO (will initiate an investigation and start a “report of investigation”)
  • Commander (who will then immediately contact the MCIO to start a “report of investigation”)
  • Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) (who will fill out a report with the “DD Form 2910” where the victim elects a reporting option)
  • SAPR Victim Advocate (SAPR VA) (who will fill out a report with the “DD Form 2910”)
  • Health care personnel (who will then immediately contact the SARC to fill out the “DD Form 2910”)

Upon notification of a reported sexual assault, the SARC will immediately assign a SAPR VA. At the victim's discretion or request, the healthcare personnel shall conduct a sexual assault forensic examination (SAFE), which may include the collection of evidence. Details regarding the incident will be limited to only those personnel who have a legitimate need to know.

 

Investigation Process


The nature of the investigative process can be stressful for victims of sexual assault despite the sincere efforts of law enforcement, staff judge advocates and other personnel entrusted with holding offenders appropriately accountable. All Service members who are victims of sexual assault are eligible to have a Special Victims Counsel, who is their own attorney and can help them understand the process and safeguard their victims’ rights.

 

Investigators must carefully collect evidence, and the process from investigation to courts martial or some other form of punishment may take many months. They must often ask you, the victim, very precise and probing questions because there usually are no eyewitnesses to provide crucial details. You may not feel you are ready to answer questions so soon after your assault, but the investigators need to interview you while your memories are fresh. Much patience will be required on your part. You will be kept well informed of any investigative actions taken in response to your reported sexual assault. Your commander will ensure, at a minimum, you receive a monthly update regarding the current status of any on-going investigative, prosecution, or command proceedings regarding the sexual assault. Monthly updates are required until the final disposition of the reported assault. "Final disposition" means the conclusion of any judicial, non-judicial, and administrative actions (including separation actions and no action).

 

The Special Victims Counsel, SAPR VA, and Victim-Witness Assistance Program (VWAP) personnel are here to assist you through this process and provide you support.

 

Unrestricted Reporting Example

 
  • Service Member Smith arrives at the base medical emergency room and reports he has been sexually assaulted. Healthcare personnel immediately notify the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) and begin administration of any emergency healthcare (medical and mental health) treatment.
  • The SARC assigns a SAPR Victim Advocate (SAPR VA) to assist Service Member Smith. The SAPR VA meets Service Member Smith at the hospital, explains the Unrestricted and Restricted Reporting options and processes associated with each to include applicable pros and cons.
  • Service Member Smith elects the Unrestricted Reporting option.
  • The SAPR VA immediately notifies the appropriate Military Criminal Investigative Office (MCIO) investigator for the Service and the victim's unit commander.
  • MCIO investigators arrive and begin the investigation.
  • Service Member Smith is asked if he would like a SAFE, and he agrees.
  • The VA advises the healthcare personnel that Service Member Smith has elected the Unrestricted Reporting option and would like a SAFE.
  • Forensic evidence of the assault is collected by healthcare personnel, and at its conclusion, MCIO investigators take chain of custody.
  • The healthcare personnel determines and schedules needed or victim-requested follow-up medical or mental health treatment.
  • The SAPR VA advises the SARC that Service Member Smith has elected the Unrestricted Reporting option.
  • In addition to any current existing channels of notification, within 24 hours of Service Member Smith's Unrestricted Report, the SARC will inform the senior commander that an assault has occurred, and provide the commander with the details of the assault. This information will only be disclosed to personnel with an official “need to know.”
  • The SARC maintains information regarding the number of sexual assaults for both Unrestricted and Restricted Reports. Restricted Report numbers will be included in the DoD SAPR annual report.
  • The SAPR VA maintains communications and contact with the victim as needed for continued victim support.

 

Considerations When Electing an Unrestricted Reporting Decision


Benefits
 
  • Victims feel a sense of closure or healing which can aid recovery.
  • Ability for Military to hold the offender appropriately accountable.
  • Ensure the safety of the victim and of others, who may be victimized by the same suspect.
  • Ability to request a Military Protective Order.
  • Ability to request an Expedited Transfer to move to a different base.
 

CIVILIAN SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION AND RESPONSE (SAPR) PROGRAM

 

SARCs and VAs will provide DON civilians with immediate crisis SAPR support and connect them to appropriate resources and services. To support you and the challenges that you face, the Department provides a comprehensive Civilian Employee Assistance Program (DONCEAP) which includes variety of work/life benefits:

Civilians eligible for treatment in the military healthcare system:

 

(E.g. dependents, retirees, civilians stationed or performing duties OCONUS)

  • Eligible to file an Unrestricted Report
  • Immediate crisis SAPR support services from a SARC and SAPR victim advocate and connected to appropriate resources.
  • Civilian Employee Assistance

Looking for additional resources?

 

 

Contact the DOD Safe Helpline

 

 

NSTC SAPR POC:
Comm: (847) 688-7600 ext. 178
email: NSTCSAPR@navy.mil

NSTC FDO:
Comm: (847) 772-2309

 

NROTC SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION AND RESPONSE (SAPR) PROGRAM


The mission of the NROTC Program today... is to develop young men and women morally, mentally, and physically, and to instill in them the highest ideals of honor, courage, and commitment. The program educates and trains young men and women for leadership positions in an increasingly technical Navy and Marine Corps. Currently there are 61 NROTC units/consortiums hosted at 75 schools throughout the United States.  The NROTC Program is available at over 160 colleges and universities that either host NROTC units or have cross-town enrollment agreements with a host university. Selected applicants for the program are awarded scholarships through a highly competitive national selection process, and receive full tuition and other financial benefits at many of the country's leading colleges and universities.

 

NAVY SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION AND RESPONSE (SAPR) OPREP MESSAGING

 
 
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