SAPR Source

Director's Message

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey J. Snow, U.S. Army, Director, DoD SAPRO

Major General Jeffrey J. Snow

I am Major General Jeffrey Snow, the new Director of the Department of Defense (DoD) Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) and I am honored to be in this position. I came to this job confident in the people and capabilities of our prevention and response system and committed to ending sexual assault in our armed forces. Since my arrival, I have been impressed by the commitment and competence of the people at all levels who work every day to prevent and respond to this terrible crime. I am proud to join this team and to lead this mission for the Department of Defense.

My first task on the job was to publically release the Department of Defense Annual Report to Congress on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service Academies for Academic Program Year 2012-2013. This report provided an assessment of the effectiveness of the Academies' programs, statistical data, and the results of focus groups of cadets, midshipmen, faculty, and staff conducted by the Defense Manpower Data Center.

The academies are where we develop future leaders of our military; leaders who will have important responsibilities from day one of their commissioned service. That is why it is essential we instill in our future leaders a commitment to fostering a climate of dignity and respect, where cadets and midshipmen are empowered and possess the social courage to take action when faced with situations at risk for sexual assault, sexual harassment, and inappropriate behavior of any kind.

We have seen considerable energy and emphasis placed on the Service Academy sexual assault prevention and response programs. Still, the continued emphasis on a cadet and midshipman culture that embraces dignity and respect for all is critical to the success of these ongoing efforts, particularly with regard to those situations in which cadets and midshipmen can intervene with their peers.

Our objectives and standards of behavior at the Service Academies are no different than those we have set for the entire force. That is why our theme for Sexual Assault Awareness Month is "Live Our Values: Step Up to Stop Sexual Assault." It is critical for every member to do their part: live our values; own the solution; and motivate others to live and serve consistent with our core values. We are committed to strengthening the professional climate across the armed forces where the cultural imperatives of mutual respect and trust, team commitment, and professional values are reinforced to create an environment in which sexist behaviors, sexual harassment, and sexual assault are not condoned, tolerated, or ignored. We know that in an environment in which sexists behaviors and harassment are tolerated, sexual assaults may occur. That is why this focus on culture is so critical.

As I take on this new role, I want you to know that I will continue the efforts of the Department to assess the effectiveness of our programs in preventing sexual assault, investigating the crime, providing effective assistance and support to victims, and holding our military accountable for progress on this issue. I am particularly committed to communicating our findings, results, and progress in a candid and transparent manner. We will continue to work proactively to implement programs and initiatives that can make a difference in addressing how victims are treated.

Finally, for those of you who have been a victim of this crime, I want you to know that we are working very hard to establish a climate where these assaults do not happen. If you have been a victim, please consider reaching out to your local Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), Victim Advocate, a health care professional, or the DoD Safe Helpline. You will be treated with the privacy you desire, the sensitivity you deserve, and the seriousness that this crime demands.

I am here as the SAPRO Director to make a difference and I look forward to working with you to ensure our SAPR programs, policies, and practices are as effective as possible.

Jeffrey J. Snow
MG, U.S. Army
Director
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office

To address the findings and recommendations in the MSA Report, Secretary Hagel has directed the implementation of several measures.

For more information:


In Case You Missed It...

Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel - Initial Assessment of Whether Senior Commanders Should Retain Authority to Refer Cases of Sexual Assault to Courts-Martial - On January 29, 2014, The Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel, as part of its Congressionally-mandated charter, released a report stating that the authority vested in senior commanders to convene courts-martial under the UCMJ for sexual assault offenses should not be changed.

For more information:

Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel - Review of Allied Military Justice Systems and Reporting Trends of Sexual Assault - On November 7, 2013, the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel, established by Congress to study the Uniform Code of Military Justice, announced that based on the experience of our allies, they have seen no evidence that removing the commander as the convening authority in sexual assault cases has resulted in increased reporting.

For more information:


New SAPR Tools

DoD is committed to meeting the needs of sexual assault victims and the first responders who provide victim care and support. Here are several efforts that directly support these objectives.

DSAID Icon

Defense Sexual Assault Incident Database (DSAID) Update - On October 1, 2013, the Department met the final Congressional requirements to implement a standardized, centralized, case-level database which collects and maintains information on sexual assaults involving members of the Armed Forces. The Defense Sexual Assault Incident Database (DSAID) serves as the database of record for sexual assault reporting within the Department. DSAID was implemented in March 2012 for the Air Force and National Guard Bureau and became fully operational by October 2012, with the integration of all Military Services either entering data manually or electronically interfacing with an existing Service system.

This database enables Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARCs) to provide comprehensive and standardized victim case management by tracking referral services. Through DSAID, SARCs can assess response efforts and manage cases by accessing cases electronically, identifying cases for review and follow-up, and facilitating case management meetings.

DSAID will standardize data to support each Service's SAPR program planning and evaluation function. It will also centralize sexual assault data in one location and standardize reporting to Congress, DoD and Service leadership by promoting accurate and timely reporting of sexual assaults.

DSAID Webinars for SARCs - In June 2013, the DoD SAPRO DSAID team kicked off a monthly Webinar series to inform and train SARCs on a range of DSAID topics, including policy and DD Forms, new releases and features in DSAID, and on how to get the most out of available resources. DoD SAPRO strives to provide a consistent forum that disseminates information to the field for all Services and interactions with SARCs in the field. SARCs have reported the webinars bring clarity to challenges they routinely encounter. If you are a SARC and you are interested in participating in a webinar, please contact your DSAID program manager.

Webinar topics include:

  • DD Form 2910 - Victim Reporting Preference Statement
  • DSAID's investigative agency interface
  • Newly-created DD Form 2965 - DSAID Data Form
  • DSAID 3.0 updates
  • Live demonstration of new features

For more information:

DoD Issuances Banner

New DoD Instruction Published: Standards for Victim Assistance Services in the Military Community - This new instruction establishes a foundational level of standards for victim assistance services in the military community regardless of the victim assistance-related program or the location where the assistance is provided. These standards are applicable in both deployed and non-deployed environments. These standards are consistent with standards established by national victim assistance organizations and incorporate the unique needs of the military community. To find out more about how these standards apply to you, please review the new DoD Instruction at the link provided below.

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DoD Develops Initial Set of SAPR Metrics - The Department continues to implement a variety of SAPR initiatives that Secretary Hagel directed over last two years. The broad constellation of the initiatives underway reflects the complexity of sexual assault and provides a comprehensive approach to encouraging victims to report.

A key element of our approach is to increase victim trust and confidence in our response system so victims access the care and support they need to seek justice and heal from these traumatic events.

To this end, the Department developed an initial set of SAPR metrics for the purpose of assessing the effectiveness of our programs along our lines of effort - prevention, investigations, victim assistance, and assessment.

The initial Fiscal Year (FY)13 data shows a 50 percent increase in victim reports of sexual assault when compared to FY12. We assess this increase in reports as consistent with a growing level of confidence in our response system. This is supported by an additional metric - there are growing numbers of reports made by victims about incidents that took place prior to joining the military. Together, this indicates that the wide range of SAPR initiatives over the past two years are having a positive impact throughout the force, as more victims are reporting and accessing SAPR support. This means more opportunities to provide victims essential care and hold offenders appropriately accountable.

“People have heard about the services and programs we have for victims and they are walking in the door to get those services. We think this is a strong indicator that what we are doing is working,” said Colonel Alan Metzler, DoD SAPRO Deputy Director. “It has never been more important to create a climate where survivors are treated with sensitivity, privacy, and the responsive support they need.”

For more information:

Peer Education for Sexual Assault Prevention Webinar - On October 30, 2013, DoD SAPRO held its first prevention webinar. Research in violence prevention indicates that education programs employing a peer-to-peer education approach may be effective in the prevention of sexual assault. This webinar included three sexual assault prevention programs that employ peer education and the ways the programs have been modified to improve their impact:

  • The Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention and Education (SHAPE) program at the US Naval Academy provides prevention education to the 4,500-member Brigade of Midshipmen through peer educators who facilitate discussions about sexual harassment and assault to empower midshipmen with increased awareness and bystander intervention skills.
  • The bystander intervention training program at Naval Station Great Lakes Training Support Command provides prevention education to new A-school students through senior enlisted facilitators trained by Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP).
  • The 20:1 program at Binghamton University provides prevention education to students on issues including: victim empathy, sexual consent and bystander intervention through peer educators from fraternities, sororities, and sports teams.

Webinar participants discussed the lessons-learned and the elements of effective sexual assault prevention education from these three programs, including:

  • Peer to peer education
  • Small-group, interactive approach
  • Comprehensive training curriculum
  • Gender-specific training groups
  • Adapting training content to audience
  • How participants can adapt the lessons learned from these programs to their prevention education program

For more information:

SAPRO Crest

DoD SAPRO recently initiated a comprehensive revision of its website, www.SAPR.mil. SAPRO invites you to tour the site and experience its enhancements, including:

  • Improved Homepage and Advanced Navigation - From the upgraded navigation to the 'Important Announcements' feature, the SAPR.mil homepage reflects a variety of improvements. Moving around the site has never been easier due to a more user-friendly, top-of-page navigation bar with drop-down menus and 'roll-left' sub-navigation.
  • New Victim Assistance Tab - SARCs and SAPR Victim Advocates (VAs) provide the assistance that victims need. The new Victim Assistance tab makes it easier to find DoD Safe Helpline materials and information, and DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D-SAACP) information.
  • New Prevention Tab - DoD SAPRO's Prevention training core competencies and learning objectives are introduced under this new tab accessible from the main navigation bar at the top of every page.
  • Speeches & Briefings - Want to know what DoD is doing to address sexual assault in the military? A new section called 'Speeches & Briefings' has been added under the News tab providing recent comments delivered directly by DoD and SAPRO Leaders. Additionally, the News tab has been reorganized to ensure the most recent SAPRO press releases are prominently featured.
  • Updated Videos Under New Multimedia Tab - Recent video news reports developed by The Pentagon Channel on the topic of sexual assault in the military can be found under the new Multimedia tab.

If you have a recommendation for an improvement for SAPR.mil, you are invited to send suggestions to whs.mc-alex.wso.mbx.SAPRO@mail.mil.

For more information:

D-SAACP Logo

New Directive Ensures SARCs and SAPR VAs Meet Continuing Education Requirement - To enhance the professional competency of SARCs and SAPR VAs supporting DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response and to maintain certification through the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D-SAACP), certified SARCs and SAPR VAs must complete continuing education training requirements and apply for certification renewal every two years.

D-SAACP certification requires applicants to show proof of 32 hours of continuing education training for biannual renewal. This training includes 30 hours of prevention and victim advocacy courses in topics relevant to the applicant's role as a SARC or SAPR VA as well as training in emerging issues and victim-focused, trauma-informed care by taking courses related to prevention and response. Applicants must also take two hours of victim advocacy ethics training.

All continuing education training must be documented by a certificate of completion or by using the DD Form 2950 - D-SAACP Application Packet as proof of attendance and course completion.

For more information:

Safe Helpline Logo

SHL Outreach Materials Now Available - The Safe Helpline Toolkit is designed to complement the ways already being used in speaking with Service members about sexual assault and the resources available on their base or installation.


The tool-kit includes the following elements:

  • About Safe Helpline text (short and long versions)
  • Tips on how to promote Safe Helpline
  • Social media posts for Facebook and Twitter
  • Sample newsletter/article text
  • Promotional materials (Digital and Print)

We are pleased to be working with SARCs and SAPR VAs and value their efforts to ensure survivors of sexual assault receive the support they deserve. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about the materials provided or if you need further assistance in implementing these tools.

For more information:


Did You Know...?

Independent Investigations for Sexual Assault Cases - DoD Inspector General (IG) guidance, published more than a year ago in January of 2013, requires all Military Criminal Investigative Organizations (MCIOs) to investigate all cases of sexual assault brought to their attention, regardless of the severity of the allegation. Commanders do not investigate crimes; that is the job of independent military criminal investigators. Consult the DoDI 6495.02 to learn about the reporting options available.

For more information:

Commander Responsibility: Guidelines are Published for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response in Evaluations - The new guidelines published by the Army, Navy, and Air Force require officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs) be held accountable for their commitment to eliminating sexual assault, fostering a climate of dignity and respect in their units, and meeting goals of the Sexual Assault Response and Prevention program. This important initiative, directed by Secretary Hagel last May, will help establish and enforce the climate and standards of behavior the Department desires.

For more information:


SAPR Spotlight

Joint Chiefs of Staff Seal

SAPR Designated as Chairman's #1 High Interest Training Issue for the Joint Force - On October 10, 2013, Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, released the fiscal year 2014 - 2017 Chairman's Joint Training Guidance. At the top of the list for high-interest training issues (HITIs) is Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR).

The HITIs represent operational focus areas consistent with the priorities established in defense strategic guidance, the Chairman's Strategic Direction to the Joint Force and the Capstone Concept for Joint Operations, and are an integral part of joint training programs. The Services, Combat Support Agencies, and Combatant Commands should advocate a robust Sexual Assault and Prevention program and provide individual education and training to prevent and appropriately respond to incidents of sexual assault.

For more information:

SAPR Training Photo

Enhanced SAPR Training - Training core competencies (CCs) and learning objectives (LOs) were developed by the DoD SAPR Office and the Services to assure consistency and effectiveness in training at all Command levels. The implementation effort during FY14 is a coordinated effort among the Services, the National Guard Bureau, and the entire DoD community and will underscore the continued resolve of the Department to prevent sexual assault.

DoD SAPRO will follow up with each of the Services to offer continued support throughout FY14 in order to ensure consistency and adherence to the agreed upon CCs and LOs.

For more information:


SAPR in the News

The White House: Statement by the President on Eliminating Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces - On December 20, 2013, President Obama commended the Department of Defense for its broad range of initiatives to reform the military justice system, improve and expand prevention programs, and enhance support for sexual assault victims, and urged continued dedication to making substantial improvements with respect to sexual assault prevention and response in the Armed Forces.

American Forces Press Service: DOD Initiatives Battle Sexual Assault in Military - New Defense Department initiatives to combat sexual assault helped create a 46 percent jump in victims reporting the crimes compared to this time last year, a senior DOD official testified Thursday.

Military Times: Op-Ed: Keep Commander Authority - Former Air Force four-star General, Roger Alan Brady references the Virginia verdict in the case against Lt. Col. John Krusinski to demonstrate why stripping commanders of the authority to deal with sexual assault cases will not guarantee the outcome one might expect or desire.

If there's information you'd like to see in this newsletter, please contact us at whs.mc-alex.wso.mbx.SAPRO@mail.mil.

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not necessarily constitute endorsement by the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. SAPRO does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. All links provided are consistent with the mission of this website. Please let us know about existing external links which you believe are inappropriate.