SAPRO Crest. Department of Defense: Sexual Assault Prevention and Response


Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office


By presenting to the chain of command or military law enforcement, a military victim of sexual assault can only file an Unrestricted Report.

  1. Ensure the victim is at a safe location away from the perpetrator. If not, take him or her to a safe place.

  2. Work with law enforcement to protect the victim from the perpetrator and others acting on the perpetrator's behalf. If the victim's safety is still threatened, contact military law enforcement or local police as soon as possible.

  3. Ask if the victim would like to seek medical care. If the victim requires emergency medical care, call 911 or your installation's emergency medical care services. If the victim requires less than emergency care, help him or her get to a medical provider as soon as possible.

  4. Military members usually have an option about how to report the crime.

    • Unrestricted Reports allow the victim to participate in the military criminal justice process.

    • Restricted Reports are kept confidential, and command and law enforcement are not notified. However, when the victim reports the crime to someone in the chain of command, a Restricted Report is no longer an option. If you are in the individual's chain of command, you must report the matter.

    • To understand the differences between Restricted and Unrestricted Reporting, see a sample response flowchart here.

  5. Other than safety and health-related questions, try to refrain from asking the victim for details about the incident. Show interest in what the victim says and ask what you can do to help him or her.

  6. Contact the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) at your installation and/or your unit SAPR Victim Advocate (VA), and arrange for the victim to speak with one of them.

    • SARCs and (SAPR VAs) have a 24- hour, seven-days- a-week phone number for victims at every military installation. If you need to find out that phone number, it may be available through the DoD Safe Helpline - at 877-995-5247 or at

    • SARCs and VAs can inform the victim of the medical, legal and spiritual resources available, both on and off base. They can also help arrange for these services and a sexual assault forensic examination, if the victim so desires.

  7. If requested, assist the victim with getting to the SARC, SAPR VA and/or medical care.

  8. While SARCs typically ensure that law enforcement and command are notified of sexual assaults, you also should report the incident to your chain of command.

    • Report the crime in your unit only to those persons with a legitimate need to know (e.g., commander, first sergeant). Do not discuss the matter casually with co-workers, friends or family members. It is critical to protect the privacy of a sexual assault victim, and maintain good order and discipline within the unit.

    • Report the crime to a Military Criminal Investigative Organization (CID, NCIS, and AFOSI). Investigators may want to interview you about the incident.

  9. Ensure the victim is allowed time to attend medical and other appointments, such as with the SARC, SAPR VA or law enforcement. Assist with administrative and logistical arrangements so that victims can access services and receive care. Again, only inform those with a legitimate need to know why the victim is absent or requires logistical assistance.

  10. Keep an eye on the victim's safety. A Military Protective Order (MPO) may be issued by command to keep the perpetrator away from the victim. Check with the SARC to see if the victim is eligible for a Civilian Protective Order (CPO), as well.

    • Watch for signs that the perpetrator is violating the terms of the MPO or CPO. If the perpetrator violates either order, notify law enforcement at once.

    • Consider the victim's input on whether or not he or she desires to be temporarily moved to another unit.

    • Work with command to determine if the victim's condition warrants redeployment or reassignment.

  11. Ensure the victim is made aware of and encouraged to exercise his or her options during each phase of the medical, investigative and legal processes as explained by the SARC/SAPR VA related to (e.g., SAFE, expedited transfer, retaliation, ostracism, and safety assessment). Check with the victim to see if he or she knows his or her rights in the military justice process. The Special Victims' Counsel (SVC) / Victims' Legal Counsel (VLC) or the Victim/Witness Assistance Program (VWAP) at your installation's legal office can help the victim through the justice system.

  12. Support the victim as he or she goes through the investigation and legal proceedings. You don't have to "fix" anything — just be available to listen when he or she needs you. Be patient with the person's duty performance as he or she recovers from being the victim of a crime

  13. Provide the victim with DoD Safe Helpline and Safe HelpRoom contact information.