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

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office

Victims' Bill of Rights

The Directive includes a DoD Victims' Bill of Rights which resembles the Federal Crime Victims' Bill of Rights. DoD law enforcement and legal personnel directly engaged in the detection, investigation or prosecution of crimes are responsible for ensuring that victims of military-related crime are accorded the following rights:

  • The right to be treated with fairness and respect for your dignity and privacy;
  • The right to be reasonably protected from the accused offender;
  • The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of public preliminary hearings, pretrial confinement hearings, court proceedings, and clemency and parole hearings related to the offense;
  • The right to be present at all public proceedings related to the offense unless the hearing officer or military judge determines that your testimony would be materially altered if you as the victim heard other testimony;
  • The right to reasonably confer with the prosecutor/Trial Counsel in the case;
  • The right to receive available restitution;
  • The right to be reasonably heard at: 1) a public hearing concerning the continuation of any pretrial confinement of the accused; 2) a sentencing hearing related to the offense; 3) a public Military Department Clemency and Parole Board hearing related to the offense;
  • The right to submit a written statement for the consideration of the Convening Authority prior to taking action on findings and sentence;
  • The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay;
  • The right to be provided information, if applicable, about the conviction, sentencing, imprisonment, Convening Authority's action, appellate review, and release of the offender.

Additionally, court-martial convening authorities, as well as clemency and parole boards, are directed to consider making restitution to the victim a condition of pretrial agreements, sentence reduction, clemency and parole. They may consider victim statements on the impact of crime when reviewing a case.

For further information on crime issues, see the DoD Victim and Witness Assistance Council web page at: http://vwac.defense.gov/

Note: Please ensure that the victim is aware of his or her rights as soon as possible in the process.

If You Believe You Were the Victim of Reprisal, Retaliation, or Ostracism

Federal law prohibits military members, civilian employees, and contractors from reprising, retaliating, or ostracizing individuals who report a crime or provide information relating to a criminal investigation. Prohibited actions may include taking, or threatening to take an unfavorable personnel action; withholding, or threatening to withhold a favorable personnel action; or socially ostracizing you for making a protected communication. If you believe someone has reprised, retaliated, or ostracized you for reporting a sexual assault or participating in a criminal investigation, contact your Sexual Assault Response Coordinator or the DoD IG Hotline at https://www.dodig.mil/hotline/submit_complaint1a.cfm

Important DoD Information Forms for Victims

Victim and witness assistance programs throughout DoD use standard forms to advise victims and witnesses of their rights during all stages of a case. Each Military Service is also required to provide DoD an annual report indicating the numbers of victims and witnesses who have received assistance and services.

The following chart lists provides the DoD form's number, the title of the form, purpose and when to they are used and their purpose.

Initial Contact

Provides notice to victims and witnesses on rights and information on the military justice system and points of contact.

Prosecution

Provides notice to victims and witnesses on rights during court-martial proceedings and process and during the command's decision-making process.

Confinement

Provides information to victims and witness on the offender's sentence, confinement status, clemency and parole hearings and release from confinement.