SAPR Source

Director's Message

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

Major General Jeffrey J. Snow

In April, the Department of Defense observes Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) with a focus on individual responsibility to prevent sexual assault and the dedicated professionals who respond when victims turn to them for help and support. SAPRO’s mission is to fight against the crime of sexual assault and SAAPM serves as a re-emphasis of what we all must do each and every day to succeed.

Preventing and responding to sexual assault is a task that requires our constant attention, a duty to make sure every victim is cared for and offenders are held appropriately accountable. April is the month we recognize and raise awareness about this cause, but this requires year-round attention and effort from every Service member at every level.

This year's theme, "Eliminate Sexual Assault: Know Your Part. Do Your Part." aims to recognize the role every Service member plays in this vital mission. When you join the military, you’re agreeing to stand with every man and woman in Service, to protect them when they need cover, and to support them when they need help. Your service is a full-time commitment and extends to every setting. This includes sexual assault, how we prevent it, and how we assist victims.

I call on each and every one of you to make a difference in this fight by setting the right example and living by the standards and values we expect of those that wear our uniform. To be successful, leaders need to lead on this issue and every Soldier needs to personally demonstrate the kind of social courage it takes to step up and stop sexual assault.

The Department employs tens of thousands of professional victim advocates who work every day to educate their colleagues on the prevention of sexual assault, while also taking great care to provide the support and services to victims when they need it most. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your year-round effort to fight the crime of sexual assault and care for our victims.

April also serves as a crucial time to re-educate everyone within the Department of the support and services available. Safe Helpline is celebrating four years of providing its anonymous and confidential system of support to victims and the Department’s commitment to victim advocacy. The Special Victims Counsel, legal counsel that solely represents the interests of a victim of sexual assault, and professional and credentialed SARCs and SAPR VAs continue to assist victims through the process when they file a report.

All of these programs and those who carry them out are vital resources to every Service member because of the impact sexual assault has throughout the force. We take our efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assault very seriously.

We all have a critical role in preventing and responding to sexual assault. Help me eliminate sexual assault in our ranks by knowing your part and doing your part.

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

Official Directives & Reports

Department of Defense updates policy for SAPR programs

Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 6495.02, “Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program Procedures” will be updated to implement requirements outlined in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2012, 2014, and 2015, recommendations from the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Crimes Panel, and other new changes. The full changes will be released to coincide with the DoD Annual Report on Sexual Assault in late April. To learn more about DoD policy regarding SAPR, please visit

Retaliation: Provides new comprehensive retaliation procedures that will require commanders to protect witnesses and bystanders who intervene to prevent sexual assaults. Additionally, new training requirements will be implemented to effectively communicate what constitutes retaliation in accordance with Service regulations and Military Whistleblower Protections. This includes an explanation that all supervisors within the chain of command, officer and enlisted, down to the most junior supervisor, do not tolerate retaliation relating to a sexual assault.

Support to victims: Updates include requirements to inform victims of services and support available, including the explanation of the right to consult with Special Victims’ Counsel/Victims’ Legal Counsel, which has now been expanded to all of the Military Services and the Reserve Component. It also includes the requirements to explain Victims’ Rights and changes to military justice process that impact victims.

SAIRO report: Includes the requirement to file the Sexual Assault Incident Response Oversight (SAIRO) report, which provides a checklist to commanders of proper procedure to follow that must be filed within eight days of an official report of sexual assault.

Personnel records: Requires a notation in the personnel record of perpetrators of any sex-related offense who received punishment - via court-martial, non-judicial punishment, or adverse administrative action. Any commander receiving a Service member within their rank will also be required to review these service records for this type of notation.

Expedited transfers: Clarifies expedited transfer policy providing commanders the authority to temporarily or permanently remove a subject from their current assignment for the purposes of maintaining good order and discipline.

In Case You Missed It...

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month: "Eliminate Sexual Assault: Know Your Part. Do Your Part."

Sexual Assault Awareness RibbonIn April, the Department of Defense began observing the eleventh annual Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, with the theme “Eliminate Sexual Assault: Know Your Part. Do Your Part.” This year, “Prevention” was added to SAAPM in recognition of this integral component of the Department's mission to fight sexual assault. The Department recognizes eliminating sexual assault from its ranks starts with a robust prevention approach.

The DoD and the Services held events to recognize the importance of this mission throughout the month, honoring trained military and civilian professionals, and raising awareness about the role every Service member plays in preventing sexual assault.

DoD Safe Helpline: The confidential, anonymous, secure, and available worldwide hotline for the DoD community celebrated its fourth anniversary in 2015. SAPRO Director MG Jeffrey Snow visited the downtown DC headquarters of Safe Helpline in late March to thank the professionals who support sexual assault victims who call into the 24/7 hotline.

Annual Exceptional SARC Recognition: The Department of Defense annually recognizes SARCs from each Service and their respective Reserve Component for their outstanding service in preventing and responding to sexual assaults. Six exceptional SARCs will be recognized later this month for their efforts in assisting victims of sexual assault and for their commitment to preventing this crime.

Prevention Webinar: SAPRO held a webinar on April 15 focused what leaders can do to encourage prevention efforts within their commands. The session featured a variety of commanders relaying what they found to be challenges in prevention and what they have done to overcome those challenges. The quarterly webinars offer SARCs and SAPR VAs the opportunity to earn continuing education credits needed for their D-SAACP certification renewal. 2015 SAAPM campaign materials are freely available on Here you can find messages from senior leaders within the DoD, event ideas, posters, and other campaign materials to help educate others about this vital mission.

New SAPR Tools

SAPR Connect community of practice brings together DoD’s sexual assault prevention practitioners

SAPR ConnectSince its launch in August 2014, more than 800 DoD members have joined DoD SAPR Connect, an online community of practice (CoP) to collaborate and share ideas to enhance sexual assault prevention programs.

SAPR Connect is a CAC-enabled website available on milSuite, an internal DoD virtual platform. Working through this channel, users can access the information 24/7 from anywhere in the world. On any given day, hundreds of members from Japan, Europe and across the US are logging on to gather and share information.

SAPR Connect serves as a community for uniform and civilian members of the DoD to share prevention-related resources, videos, articles, and discussions in a collaborative online environment. The CoP is also home to recorded quarterly webinars hosted by SAPRO, featuring a wide variety of topics such as peer mentoring programs and use of apps in prevention. While the webinars are hosted live, the video, presentation, and other materials are available for SAPR Connect members to view anytime once uploaded. Sexual Assault Response Coordinators and SAPR Victim Advocates can participate in the webinars to fulfill continuing education credits for D-SAACP certification.

For more information or to join the group, please click here.

Service Spotlight

Coast Guard "leans forward" with Sexual Assault Prevention Council

U.S. Coast Guard SealThe United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the Pentagon collaborate very closely in their prevention programs, and jointly presented a report to the President this past December.

The Coast Guard Sexual Assault Prevention Council (SAPC) and Coast Guard SAPR Program represent the Service’s commitment to stand at the forefront in eradicating sexual assault through comprehensive prevention and response programs.

Together, the SAPC and SAPR Program are focused on providing leaders across the organization with the tools, training and environment necessary to create a climate of respect, trust, and safety. The initiatives put forth by the Coast Guard are meant to ensure sexual harassment and sexual assault are not committed by Coast Guard personnel and victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault are treated with the dignity they deserve.

In January 2013, the Coast Guard established the SAPC to coordinate efforts toward eliminating sexual assault and harassment within its Service. The mission of the council is to introduce policy, support initiatives and hold the Service accountable for creating and maintaining a climate inhospitable to sexual assault, including behaviors that enable it, such as ostracizing, hazing and harassing.

Recently, the council was recognized by the Department of Defense and awarded the Sexual Assault Prevention Innovation Award, which recognizes groups or individuals who contribute an innovative approach or idea to positively impact sexual assault prevention and response programs within the Armed Forces. Specifically, the council received the award in recognition of the best practice it establishes by directly engaging senior leaders across the enterprise in leading the way on prevention of sexual assault in the Service.

"Over the past year, senior military and civilian leaders across the Service have come together in an unprecedented effort to drive sexual assault and sexual harassment out of the Coast Guard," said Rear Adm. Marshall Lytle, chairman of the SAPC. “While there is much work to be done in the days, weeks, months and years ahead, I am confident the effort we have begun will fundamentally change our culture for the better and empower our people at all levels of the Service to do what is right before, during and after an incident of sexual assault.”

"Duty to People" is one of three guiding principles established by Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft. Standing at the forefront of this principle is eradicating sexual assault from the Service to promote a safe and healthy work environment for each and every Coast Guard member.

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April 2015

Director's Message
Official Directives & Reports
In Case You Missed It...
New SAPR Tools
Service Spotlight
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