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

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office

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Victim Support Comes First

DoD has an uncompromising commitment to victim assistance. A healthy culture supports those who make the difficult decision to report a sexual assault crime when it does occur.

DoD’s mission is to provide high quality services and support to victims and survivors of sexual assault that strengthen their resilience and instill confidence and trust in the reporting process, whether they file a restricted or unrestricted report.


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Help for Me

Help for Me

If you have been, or think you have been, sexually assaulted:

  1. Go to a safe location away from the perpetrator.

  2. Preserve all evidence of the assault. Do not bathe, wash your hands or brush your teeth. If you are still where the crime occurred, do not clean, or straighten up, or remove anything from the crime scene.

  3. Contact a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) or Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Victim Advocate (SAPR VA).

    • Local information provided by your Military Service or Hotline Number.

    • Contact DoD Safe Helpline for live, one-on-one support and information. The service is confidential, anonymous, secure, and available worldwide, 24/7 by click, call or text - providing victims with the help they need anytime, anywhere:

  4. Seek medical care as soon as possible. Even if you do not have any visible physical injuries, you may be at risk of becoming pregnant or acquiring a sexually transmitted disease.

    • Ask the health care personnel to conduct a sexual assault forensic examination to preserve forensic evidence.

    • If you suspect you have been drugged, request that a urine sample be collected.

  5. 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.

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

  6. Write down, tape or record by any other means all the details you can recall about the assault and your assailant.

Help for My Friend

Help for My Friend

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

  2. If there is an immediate threat to the victim's safety, contact military law enforcement or local police immediately. Work with law enforcement to protect the victim from the perpetrator and others acting on the perpetrator's behalf.

  3. Ask if your friend 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. Encourage your friend to report the incident to a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) or Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Victim Advocate (SAPR VA). You may also contact the SARC for information.

    • SARCs and/or SAPR VAs are available 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week at every military installation.

    • Local information provided by your military Service or Hotline Number.

    • Contact DoD Safe Helpline for live, one-on-one support and information. The service is confidential, anonymous, secure, and available worldwide, 24/7 by click, call or text - providing victims with the help they need anytime, anywhere:

    • SARCs and SAPR 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.

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

  6. Military members usually have two options 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. A victim can convert a Restricted Report into an Unrestricted Report at any time.

    • NOTE: When the victim reports the crime to someone in the chain of command, a Restricted Report may no longer be an option. If you are in the individual's chain of command, you may have to report the matter. Please see your SARC or SAPR VA for more guidance.

  7. Assist your friend with getting to the SARC, SAPR VA and/or medical care, if your friend so desires.

  8. Offer to stay with your friend. Victims are often reluctant to be alone after a frightening ordeal. Accompany your friend to the hospital or other places if he or she so desires.

  9. Be a good listener. Avoid being judgmental, keep from second-guessing and resist placing any blame on him or her. Simply listen and accept what he or she says.

  10. There is no "right" or "wrong" way to recover from a sexual assault. However, there are unhelpful or self-destructive ways of coping. Alcohol abuse, drug use, suicidal statements or increased behaviors with unhealthy outcomes (unprotected and/or anonymous sex, gambling, smoking, overeating, etc.) are sometimes warning signs that your friend needs to get professional assistance. Don't be afraid to suggest that your friend might need advice from someone skilled to help him or her with more productive coping strategies.

  11. The Safe Helpline mobile app provides self-care strategies and doesn’t need an internet connection once anonymously downloaded; especially helpful for those deployed in places where an internet connection is minimally available.

Help for Someone I Supervise

Help for Someone I Supervise

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 www.SafeHelpline.org

    • 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.

By Duty Status

By Duty Status

The Department works to ensure that every survivor of sexual assault is treated with the sensitivity they deserve, the privacy they prefer, and the responsive support they need. Reporting is encouraged - either a restricted or unrestricted report - because reporting this crime is essential to deliver care and hold offenders appropriately accountable. Restricted reports are confidential but not anonymous, and unrestricted reports are shared with the commander in the reporting location and investigated by Military Criminal Investigation Organization (MCIO).

Whether you are an Active Duty, Reserve Component, or Transitioning Service Member, a Veteran, DoD Civilian, adult DoD Dependent, DoD Contractor, find information and resources designed to meet the unique needs of a military victim of sexual assault below.

If you are not affiliated with the military, resources and assistance may be available to you through the National Sexual Assault Hotline (NSAH).

  • Active
    Duty

    Active duty Service members, National Guard (NG) members, and Reserve Component (RC) members are eligible to receive SAPR advocacy services from a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) or SAPR Victim Advocate (SAPR VA) regardless of whether the assault took place while on active duty, prior to enlistment or commissioning, or while performing inactive duty training. Service members of the active duty component, NG, and RC are eligible to file either a restricted or unrestricted report.

    A SARC or SAPR VA addresses safety needs, explains the reporting options, services available, and assists with navigating the military criminal justice process. SARCs and SAPR VAs offer expertise to prepare victims for the road ahead and will advocate on behalf of a victim along the way. They provide professional assistance with obtaining medical care, counseling services, legal and spiritual support, and obtaining off-base resources, if so desired. Find additional information regarding the responsibilities of SARCs and SAPR VAs in DoD Directive 6495.01.

    Also, in support of a victim of sexual assault who files an unrestricted report, a Case Management Group (CMG) is convened with the responsibility of ensuring the victim receives the care they deserve and are made aware of the investigative and legal proceedings.

    In addition to assigning a SARC and/or SAPR VA, the Department makes the following SAPR services or policy support available to active Service members:

    • Reporting Options - Restricted reports are confidential but not anonymous, and unrestricted reports are shared with the commander in the reporting location and investigated by Military Criminal Investigation Organization (MCIO). Learn more about the reporting options here.

    • DoD Safe Helpline - Free, anonymous, confidential and available 24/7 worldwide call, text and chat helpline for members of the DoD community. Safe Helpline has up-to-date contact information for resources including SARCs, SAPR VAs, Chaplains, Special Victims' Counsel/Victims' Legal Counsel, Medical Personnel, and Military Police. Access the Safe Helpline here.

    • Special Victims' Counsel (SVC) / Victims' Legal Counsel (VLC) - Each of the Services provides either an SVC or VLC; these lawyers are experienced trial attorneys. They understand the legal process and are able to guide victims through the judicial process. Find links to the Services’ SVC/VLC programs here.

    • Victims' Bill of Rights - The Department guarantees a victim’s rights.

    • Victim/Witness Assistance Program (VWAP) - The VWAP helps give victims a voice and keeps them informed of the status of the investigation and prosecution. Learn more about the VWAP program here.

    • Expedited Transfer - Service members who have been the victim of sexual assault and have filed an Unrestricted Report have the option to request an expedited transfer from their unit and/or installation. Find information on Expedited Transfer policy within DoD Instruction 6495.02, here.

    Additional Resources

  • Reserve
    Component

    The Department provides full SAPR support to National Guard (NG) and Reserve Component members who are sexually assaulted when performing active service, as defined in section 101(d)(3) of Title 10, United States Code, and inactive duty training. If reporting a sexual assault that occurred prior to or while not performing active service or inactive training, NG and Reserve Component members will be eligible to receive limited SAPR support services from a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) and a SAPR Victim Advocate (SAPR VA) and are eligible to file a restricted or unrestricted report.

    A SARC or SAPR VA addresses safety needs, explains the reporting options, services available, and assists with navigating the military criminal justice process. SARCs and SAPR VAs offer expertise to prepare victims for the road ahead and will advocate on behalf of a victim along the way. They provide professional assistance with obtaining medical care, counseling services, legal and spiritual support, and obtaining off-base resources, if so desired. Find additional information regarding the responsibilities of SARCs and SAPR VAs in DoD Directive 6495.01.

    Also, in support of a victim of sexual assault who files an unrestricted report, a Case Management Group (CMG) is convened with the responsibility of ensuring the victim receives the care they deserve and are made aware of the investigative and legal proceedings.

    In addition to assigning a SARC and/or SAPR VA, the Department makes the following SAPR services or policy support available to active Service members:

    • Reporting Options - Restricted reports are confidential but not anonymous, and unrestricted reports are shared with the commander in the reporting location and investigated by Military Criminal Investigation Organization (MCIO). Learn more about the reporting options here.

    • DoD Safe Helpline - Free, anonymous, confidential and available 24/7 worldwide call, text and chat helpline for members of the DoD community. Safe Helpline has up-to-date contact information for resources including SARCs, SAPR VAs, Chaplains, Special Victims' Counsel/Victims' Legal Counsel, Medical Personnel, and Military Police. Access the Safe Helpline here.

    • Special Victims Counsel (SVC) / Victim's Legal Counsel (VLC) - Each of the Services provides either an SVC or VLC; these lawyers are experienced trial attorneys. They understand the legal process and are able to guide victims through the judicial process. Find links to the Services' SVC/VLC programs here.

    • Victims' Bill of Rights - The Department guarantees a victim's rights.

    • Victim/Witness Assistance Program (VWAP) - The VWAP helps give victims a voice and keeps them informed of the status of the investigation and prosecution. Learn more about the VWAP program here.

    • Expedited Transfer - Service members who have been the victim of sexual assault and have filed an Unrestricted Report have the option to request an expedited transfer from their unit and/or installation. Find information on Expedited Transfer policy within DoD Instruction 6495.02, here.

    Additional Resources

  • Transitioning

    A Transitioning Service Member (TSM) is an individual separating or retiring from the U.S. Armed Forces who is within 12 months of separation or within 24 months of retirement. The Department of Defense (DoD) anticipates a substantial increase in the number of Service members transitioning out of the military in the coming years.

    Similar to active duty Service members, TSMs are eligible to receive SAPR advocacy services from a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) or SAPR Victim Advocate (SAPR VA) regardless of whether the assault took place while on active duty, prior to enlistment or commissioning, while on "transitioning" status, or performing inactive duty training. TSMs are eligible to file either a restricted or unrestricted report.

    A SARC or SAPR VA addresses safety needs, explains the reporting options, services available, and assists with navigating the military criminal justice process. SARCs and SAPR VAs offer expertise to prepare victims for the road ahead and will advocate on behalf of a victim along the way. They provide professional assistance with obtaining medical care, counseling services, legal and spiritual support, and obtaining off-base resources, if so desired. Find additional information regarding the responsibilities of SARCs and SAPR VAs in DoD Directive 6495.01.

    Also, in support of a victim of sexual assault who files an unrestricted report, a Case Management Group (CMG) is convened with the responsibility of ensuring the victim receives the care they deserve and are made aware of the investigative and legal proceedings.

    In addition to assigning a SARC and/or SAPR VA, the Department makes the following SAPR services or policy support available to TSMs:

    • Reporting Options - Restricted reports are confidential but not anonymous, and unrestricted reports are shared with the commander in the reporting location and Military Criminal Investigation Organization (MCIO). Learn more about the reporting options here.

    • DoD Safe Helpline - Free, anonymous, confidential and available 24/7 worldwide call, text and chat helpline for members of the DoD community. Safe Helpline has up-to-date contact information for resources including SARCs, SAPR VAs, Chaplains, Special Victims' Counsel/Victims' Legal Counsel, Medical Personnel, and Military Police. Access the Safe Helpline here.

    • Special Victims' Counsel (SVC) / Victims' Legal Counsel (VLC) - Each of the Services provides either an SVC or VLC; these lawyers are experienced trial attorneys. They understand the legal process and are able to guide victims as a perpetrator is brought to trial. Find links to the Services' SVC/VLC programs here.

    • Victims' Bill of Rights - The Department guarantees a victim's rights.

    • Victim/Witness Assistance Program (VWAP) - The VWAP helps give victims a voice and keeps them informed of the status of the investigation and prosecution. Learn more about the VWAP program here.

    • Expedited Transfer - Service members who have been the victim of sexual assault and have filed an Unrestricted Report have the option to request an expedited transfer from their unit and/or installation. Find information on Expedited Transfer policy within DoD Instruction 6495.02, here.

    Additional Resources

  • Veteran

    Although not covered by Department of Defense policy, a Veteran suffering from Military Sexual Trauma (MST) can find assistance and resources through the Department of Veterans Affairs, available here.

    The VA recently announced expanded eligibility for Veterans in need of mental health care due to sexual assault or sexual harassment that occurred during their military service. This expansion, which primarily pertains to Reservists and National Guard members participating in weekend drill, gives the authority to offer Veterans the appropriate care and services needed to treat conditions resulting from MST that occurred during a period of inactive duty training. Read the full VA press release here.

    Additional resources and assistance can be found at SafeHelpline.org.

  • DoD
    Civilian

    The Department of Defense is committed to responding to the needs of all members of the DoD community, and that is certainly true of the many dedicated civilians who support our mission.

    Eligibility for DoD civilians:

    • Non-military individuals who are employed by the Department and a victim of sexual assault are eligible for limited emergency care medical services at a military treatment facility (MTF), unless that individual is otherwise eligible as a Service member or TRICARE beneficiary of the military health system to receive treatment in a MTF at no cost.

    • DoD civilian employees and their family dependents, 18 years of age and older, when they are stationed or performing duties outside of the continental United States (OCONUS), and eligible for treatment in the military healthcare system (MHS) at military installations or facilities continental United States (CONUS).

    DoD provided services include:

    • Unrestricted report - DoD civilian employees and their family dependents 18 years of age and older may only utilize the unrestricted reporting option if reporting through the Department. Alternately, civilian employees and their adult dependents may be able to utilize the confidential reporting options as defined by local and state jurisdictions. For assistance with finding these resources, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

    • Assistance of a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) or SAPR Victim Advocate (SAPR VA)

      • If the Military Criminal Investigative Organization (MCIO) has jurisdiction over a DoD civilian's unrestricted report of sexual assault, a DoD or military Service SARC or SAPR VA can provide professional assistance with obtaining medical care, counseling services, legal and spiritual support, and obtaining off-base resources, if so desired.

      • If the MCIO does not have jurisdiction, rather, the case falls to local law enforcement, a DoD SARC or SAPR VA can help by identifying the appropriate referrals to the civilian community for assistance and/or while undergoing emergency care OCONUS.

    SARCs and SAPR VAs can facilitate getting professional assistance with obtaining medical care, counseling services, legal and spiritual support, and obtaining off-base resources, if so desired. Find additional information regarding the responsibilities of SARCs and SAPR VAs in DoD Directive 6495.01.

    In addition to assigning a SARC and/or SAPR VA, the Department makes the following SAPR services or policy support available to DoD civilians:

    • DoD Safe Helpline - Free, anonymous, confidential and available 24/7 worldwide call, text and chat helpline for members of the DoD community. Safe Helpline has up-to-date contact information for resources including SARCs, SAPR VAs, Chaplains, Special Victims' Counsel/Victims' Legal Counsel, Medical Personnel, and Military Police. Access the Safe Helpline here.

    • National Sexual Assault Hotline - Local community resources can be found through the National Sexual Assault Hotline, here.

    • Victims' Bill of Rights - The Department guarantees a victim's rights.

    • Legal Support for DoD Civilians - Although DoD civilians are not eligible for Special Victims' Counsel / Victims' Legal Counsel Services, they can retain their own legal counsel for military judicial proceedings.

    • Victim/Witness Assistance Program (VWAP) - The VWAP helps give victims a voice and keeps them informed of the status of the investigation and prosecution. Learn more about the VWAP program here.

    Additional Resources

  • DoD
    Dependent

    The Department of Defense is committed to responding to the needs of all members of the DoD community, including extended members of the community.

    Eligibility for dependents of a DoD civilian employee or military Service member:

    • Adult dependents of military personnel - Sexual assault response services are provided to military dependents, 18 years of age and older who are eligible for treatment in the military healthcare system (MHS), at installations in the continental United States (CONUS) and outside of the continental United States (OCONUS), and who were victims of sexual assault perpetrated by someone other than a spouse or intimate partner.

    • Adult dependents of civilian employees - For these individuals who are victims of sexual assault, only limited emergency care medical services at a military treatment facility (MTF) are provided, unless that individual is otherwise eligible as a Service member or TRICARE beneficiary of the MHS to receive treatment in a MTF at no cost.
    • DoD provided services include:

    • Reporting Options -
    • The Family Advocacy Program (FAP), consistent with DoDD 6400.1 (Reference (o)) and DoD Instruction (DoDI) 6400.06 (Reference (p)) covers adult military dependent sexual assault victims who are assaulted by a spouse or intimate partner and military dependent sexual assault victims who are 17 years of age and younger. The installation Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) and the installation Family Advocacy Program and domestic violence intervention and prevention staff shall direct coordination when a sexual assault occurs within a domestic relationship or involves child abuse.

    • Assistance of a SARC or SAPR Victim Advocate (SAPR VA)
      • If the Military Criminal Investigative Organization (MCIO) has jurisdiction over a DoD dependent's unrestricted report of sexual assault, a DoD or military Service SARC or SAPR VA can provide professional assistance with obtaining medical care, counseling services, legal and spiritual support, and obtaining off-base resources, if so desired.
      • If the MCIO does not have jurisdiction, rather, the case falls to local law enforcement, a DoD SARC or SAPR VA can help by identifying the appropriate referrals to the civilian community for assistance and/or while undergoing emergency care OCONUS.

    In addition to assigning a SARC and/or SAPR VA, the Department makes the following SAPR services or policy support available to dependents of Department military or civilian personnel:

    • Reporting Options - Restricted reports are confidential but not anonymous, and unrestricted reports are shared with the commander in the reporting location and Military Criminal Investigation Organization (MCIO). Learn more about the reporting options here.

    • DoD Safe Helpline - Free, anonymous, confidential and available 24/7 worldwide call, text and chat helpline for members of the DoD community. Safe Helpline has up-to-date contact information for resources including SARCs, SAPR VAs, Chaplains, Special Victims' Counsel/Victims' Legal Counsel, Medical Personnel, and Military Police. Access the Safe Helpline here.

    • National Sexual Assault Hotline - Local community resources can be found through the National Sexual Assault Hotline, here.

    • Victims' Bill of Rights - The Department guarantees a victim's rights.

    • Legal Support for DoD Dependents - Although DoD dependents are not eligible for Special Victims' Counsel / Victims' Legal Counsel Services, they may retain their own legal counsel for military judicial proceedings.

    • Victim/Witness Assistance Program (VWAP) - The VWAP helps give victims a voice and keeps them informed of the status of the investigation and prosecution. Learn more about the VWAP program here.

    Additional Resources

  • DoD
    Contractor

    The Department is committed to responding to the needs of all members of the DoD community, including contractors - personnel of a contracted organization to the Department of Defense.

    Eligibility for a DoD contractor:

    • U.S. citizen DoD contractor personnel who experience a sexual assault are eligible for DoD services when they are authorized to accompany the Armed Forces in a contingency operation outside of the continental United States (OCONUS), and their U.S. citizen employees.

    • Additional medical services may be provided to contractors covered under Department of Defense Instruction 6495.02 in accordance with DoDI 3020.41 (Reference (q)) as applicable.

    • Non-military individuals who are contractors for the Department of Defense and a victim of sexual assault are eligible for limited emergency care medical services at a military treatment facility (MTF), unless that individual is otherwise eligible as a Service member or TRICARE beneficiary of the military health system (MHS) to receive treatment in a MTF at no cost.
    • DoD provided services include:

    • Unrestricted report - DoD contractors may only file an unrestricted report.

    • Assistance of a SARC or SAPR Victim Advocate (SAPR VA)
      • If the Military Criminal Investigative Organization (MCIO) has jurisdiction over a DoD contractor's unrestricted report of sexual assault, a DoD or military Service SARC or SAPR VA can provide professional assistance with obtaining medical care, counseling services, legal and spiritual support, and obtaining off-base resources, if so desired.

      • If the MCIO does not have jurisdiction, rather, the case falls to local law enforcement, a DoD SARC or SAPR VA can help by identifying the appropriate referrals to the civilian community for assistance and/or while undergoing emergency care OCONUS.

      In addition to assigning a SARC and/or SAPR VA, the Department makes the following SAPR services or policy support available to Department contracted personnel:

    • DoD Safe Helpline - Free, anonymous, confidential and available 24/7 worldwide call, text and chat helpline for members of the DoD community. Safe Helpline has up-to-date contact information for resources including SARCs, SAPR VAs, Chaplains, Special Victims' Counsel/Victims' Legal Counsel, Medical Personnel, and Military Police. Access the Safe Helpline here.

    • National Sexual Assault Hotline - Local community resources can be found through the National Sexual Assault Hotline, here.

    • Victims' Bill of Rights - The Department guarantees a victims' rights.

    • Legal Support for DoD Contractors - Although DoD contractors are not eligible for Special Victims' Counsel / Victims' Legal Counsel Services, they may retain their own legal counsel for military judicial proceedings.

    • Victim/Witness Assistance Program (VWAP) - The VWAP helps give victims a voice and keeps them informed of the status of the investigation and prosecution. Learn more about the VWAP program here.

    Additional Resources

Sexual Assault and Consent

Sexual Assault and Consent

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

  • Sexual Assault

  • Aggravated / Abusive Sexual Contact

  • Nonconsensual 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.

View specific articles and the full UCMJ here.

Additional relevant SAPR definitions can be found in the glossary of the DoD Directive 6495.01, here.