DoD SAPRO leads change by overseeing the implementation of all policies and standards of sexual assault prevention and response. DoD’s sexual assault-related policy is adopted by the Military Departments and aims to translate concepts into action, improve outcomes, and achieve results that endure.
DoD & Services' Policies
The Department is committed to being a national leader in preventing and responding to sexual assault. DoD and each of the military Services have issued policy to assure compliance with our mission and the rule of military law. The DoD Directive and Instructions represent requirements in the NDAA and incorporate the recommendations from government oversight bodies.
DoD Policy: Directive, Instructions, Forms, CATCH Policy, and other Memorandums & Guidance
DoD Directive 6495.01 establishes the broad policy parameters of the SAPR Program for the Department. Detailed procedures for key areas in the SAPR program are found in the DoD Instruction 6495.02 under the DoD Instructions tab. The Department’s instruction for certification of Victim Advocates is found in the Instructions tab (6495.03). Tabs for DoD SAPR-related forms and Memorandums & Guidance follow.
The Catch a Serial Offender (CATCH) Program gives victims of sexual assault making a Restricted Report an opportunity to anonymously disclose suspect information to help the Department
of identify repeat offenders. Learn more at https://www.sapr.mil/catch.
A DoD Directive is a broad policy document containing what is required by legislation, the President, or the Secretary of Defense to initiate, govern, or regulate actions or conduct by the DoD Components within their specific areas of responsibilities. DoD Directives establish or describe policy, programs, and organizations; define missions; provide authority; and assign responsibilities.
- DoD Directive 6495.01 - Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program
Overarching Department policy on sexual assault prevention and response.
A DoD Instruction implements policy, or prescribes the manner or a specific plan or action for carrying out policy, operating a program or activity, and assigning responsibilities.
Detailed procedures for key areas in the SAPR program are found in the DoD Instruction 6495.02 below, with additional DoD Instructions that inform SAPR program activity.
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR)
- DoD Directive 6495.01 - Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program
DoD Directive (DoDD) 6495.01 implements DoD policy and assign responsibilities for the SAPR Program on prevention, response, and oversight to sexual assault.
- DoD Instruction 6495.02, Volume 1 - Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program Procedures
Establishes comprehensive procedures for responding to the crime of sexual assault within DoD, ensuring that sexual assault victims are cared for with dignity and respect. Specific procedures implement requirements outlined in the NDAAs, initiatives directed by the Secretary of Defense, formal recommendations from the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel (RSP), and new substantive changes to address areas of need. For an info paper of the updated DoD Instruction, click here.
- DoD Instruction 6495.02, Volume 2 - Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program: Education and Training
Establishes SAPR training requirements for Service members, individuals who supervise Service members, and DoD civilian personnel. The policy was updated in 2021 and aligns training needs with DoD’s Common Military Training (CMT) to clearly define minimum training standards and meet Congressional requirements.
- DoD Instruction 6495.02, Volume 3 - Sexual Assault Prevention and Response: Retaliation Response for Adult Sexual Assault Cases
Establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes procedures for the implementation, management, and oversight of the response to retaliation related to adult sexual assault cases within the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program.
- DoD Instruction 6495.03 - Defense Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program
Establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes procedures for the implementation, management, and oversight of the D-SAACP in accordance with the certification requirements in section 584 of Public Law 112-81 (Reference (a)), DoD Directive (DoDD) 6495.01(Reference (b)), DoD Instruction (DoDI) 6495.02 (Reference (c)), and in accordance with the authority in DoDD 5124.02 (Reference (d)).
- DoD Instruction 6400.09 - DoD Policy on Integrated Primary Prevention of Self-Directed Harm and Prohibited Abuse or Harm
Implements an integrated violence prevention policy that is the first of its kind. Informed by best-practices in the field. This policy creates a unity of effort across prevention programs and policies; establishes a common, research-based framework for violence prevention; and focuses prevention efforts on those activities that have the greatest potential to reduce multiple forms of violence that affect the military community.
Other Sexual Assault-Related Policies
- DoD Instruction 5505.18 - Investigation of Adult Sexual Assault in the Department of Defense
Establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides procedures for the investigation of adult sexual assault within the DoD. It also establishes the processes and procedures for the use, maintenance, and protection of certain information from a Restricted Report of adult sexual assault obtained by the military criminal investigative organizations (MCIOs) after the victim has elected to provide such information, but without affecting the restricted nature of the report.
- DoD Instruction 5505.19 - Investigations SVIP Policy - IG DoDI: Establishment of Special Victim Investigation and Prosecution (SVIP) Capability with the Military Criminal Investigative Organizations (MCIOs)
Establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides procedures for the MCIOs to implement a special victim capability. establish a special victim capability comprised of specially trained MCIO investigators, judge advocates, paralegals, and victim witness assistance personnel to support victims of covered special victim offenses (referred to as the SVIP capability).
- DoD Instruction 6310.09 – Health Care Management for Patients Associated with a Sexual Assault
Establishes procedures to ensure comprehensive standards for providing health care in the Military Health System for patients who, during the course of health care, present with a disclosure of sexual assault, or disclose they have committed or are suspected to have committed a sexual assault.
- DoD Instruction 6400.06 - Domestic Abuse Involving DoD Military and Certain Affiliated Personnel
Procedures for establishing, implementing, and updating domestic abuse policies in the military.
- DoD Instruction 6400.07 - Standards for Victim Assistance Services in the Military Community
Issued on Nov. 26, 2013, this DoD Instruction provides overarching Department policy, responsibilities and standards for victim assistance services throughout the military.
- Prosecutions SVIP Policy: OLP DTM: Directive-type Memorandum (DTM) 14-003, DoD Implementation of Special Victim Capability (SVC) Prosecution and Legal Support
Establishes policy for implementation of a Special Victim Capability (SVC) across the DoD by providing a distinct, recognizable group of appropriately skilled personnel to prosecute covered offenses; also requires the designation of specially trained prosecutors, paralegals, administrative support personnel, and victim witness assistance personnel.
DD Form 2950 – DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D-SAACP) Application Packet for New Applicants (Right Click, Save Link/Target As)
DD Form 2950-1 – DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D-SAACP) Renewal Application Packet (Right Click, Save Link/Target As)
DoD Memorandums & Guidance refer to documents signed and issued by the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, or Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Principal Staff Assistants (PSAs) that, because of time constraints, have not yet been published in the DoD Directives System. Memorandums & Guidance are procedural in nature and are typically converted into a DoD Directive or DoD Instruction, unless the subject is classified with limited distribution or is material of limited or temporary relevance.
- Clarification P&R Memo: Eligibility for Adult Sexual Assault Victims in Unmarried Intimate Partner Relationships to Receive Services from EITHER the Family Advocacy Program OR the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program
This P&R Memo clarifies the role of the Family Advocacy Program (FAP) and SAPR Programs now that the newly-published FAP DoDI 6400.06, "DoD Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Abuse Involving DoD Military and Certain Affiliated Personnel," expanded the definition of "intimate partner" to include a broader category of individuals in unmarried intimate partner relationships, for example "dating" relationships.
- SAPR Program has and will continue to offer services to adult sexual assault victims in this same category of "dating" relationships. As a result of the expanded definition, some adult sexual assault victims are eligible for, and can choose to receive, services from EITHER the Family Advocacy Program (FAP) OR the SAPR Program.
- FAP will offer services to all adult intimate partner (to include "dating" partner) sexual assault victims under the new definition.
- The SAPR Program will continue to offer services both to all adult sexual assault victims who are non-intimate partners and to adult sexual assault victims who are unmarried intimate partners (to include "dating" partners).
- EXCEPT FOR THE FOLLOWING THREE CATEGORIES: 1. a current or former spouse; 2. person with whom the alleged abuser shares a child in common; or 3. a current or former intimate partner with whom the alleged abuser shares or has shared a common domicile. FAP will continue to provide services exclusively to those individuals in the three aforementioned categories.
The Exception to SAPR Policy in this P&R Memo authorizes DoD Components, at their discretion (NOT MANDATORY), to provide SAPR services from a SARC or SAPR VA to DoD civilian employees who have been sexually assaulted. This is IN ADDITION TO the March 2021 memo that directed DoD components to implement Component-specific policy that REQUIRED advocacy, support, and referrals to be available through WORKPLACE VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND RESPONSE PROGRAMS.
- Updates to Department of Defense Policy and Procedures for the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program and Adult Sexual Assault Investigations
This DSD Memo implements the policy discussed in the Department’s Congressional report for section 540K of the NDAA for FY 2020 (Public Law Number 116-92) and its updates are consistent with recent IRC recommendations to “Increase victim agency” by preserving victim’s restricted reporting option and protecting victim preference not to participate in sexual assault investigations (Section 540K Declination Letter). It expands eligibility for the Catch a Serial Offender (CATCH) Program to include any victim who files, or has already filed, an Unrestricted Report and the name of the suspect has not been uncovered. These policy updates encourage reporting, mandate the posting of resources, and also require the publicizing of available resources outside a victim’s immediate chain of command.
In accordance with Sec. 539A of NDAA FY2021, the “Safe-To-Report” guidance to the Military Services and National Guard Bureau (NGB) setting the criteria for them to issue their respective policies was signed by Mr. Cisneros (USD (P&R)) on October 25, 2021. The Services’ and NGB’s Safe-to-Report policies will prescribe the handling of alleged minor collateral misconduct involving a Service member who is the victim of a sexual assault, and is applicable to all members of the Military Departments (including Reservists and cadets and midshipmen at the Military Service Academies). Additionally, the criteria will standardize commanders’ discretion in choosing to discipline victims with issues of minor collateral misconduct associated with their sexual assault report. Given examples of minor collateral misconduct include: underage drinking, being in an unprofessional relationship, being out beyond curfew, and/or in off-limits locations—all at the time of the sexual assault.
Please note that the October 25, 2021 guidance just sets the criteria, it is not self-executing. The Safe-to-Report Policy will become effective once the Secretaries of the Military Departments/Chief of the National Guard Bureau issue their respective policies.
- Requirement to Implement Ability for DoD Civilian Employees Who Have Experienced Sexual Assault to Make Requests for Assistance Through the Federal Workplace Violence Prevention and Response Program
This memorandum reiterates the existing requirement for DoD components to implement Component-specific policy that allows DoD civilian employees who have experienced sexual assault to obtain advocacy, support, and referrals available through workplace violence prevention and response programs. Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 1438.06, "DoD Workplace Violence Prevention and Response Policy," identifies the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy, under the authority, direction, and control of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, as the DoD lead for policy development and ensuring implementation of workplace violence prevention and response programs, including education and training, for civilian employees.
This website includes all current instructions on command climate assessments. The redesigned DEOCS 5.0 includes new and improved questions that measure verified protective and risk factors to provide commanders the information they need to understand unit-level problems and implement real solutions.
Provides direction to the Services to develop plans and procedures implementing expedited transfer for those who make a Restricted Report of sexual assault.
This memorandum provides updates and clarifications to current CMG policy in DoD Instruction (DoDI) 6495.02, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program Procedures.
- Defense Sexual Assault Incident Database Updates Involving the Replacement of Lost Forms, Retaliation Reporting, and Electronic File Locker
This memorandum addresses several initiatives designed to improve victim support: replacement of lost forms, retaliation reporting, and an electronic File Locker.
- Clarifying Guidance to Military Discharge Review Boards and Boards for Correction of Military/Naval Records Considering Requests by Veterans for Modification of their Discharge Due to Mental Health Conditions, Sexual Assault, or Sexual Harassment
Clarifying guidance is provided regarding mental health conditions, sexual assault, and sexual harassment to ensure veterans are aware of the opportunity to have their discharges and military records reviewed. This guidance ensures fair and consistent standards of review for veterans with mental health conditions, or who experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment regardless of when they served or in which Military Department they served.
- Under Secretary of Defense Personnel and Readiness Memorandum for Regulations on Inclusion and Command Review of Information on Sex-Related Offenses in Personnel Service Records
This memorandum provides for two requirements for accountability of sex-related offenses: the inclusion of information on sex-related offenses in the personnel service records of members of the Armed Forces and the mandatory review of the personnel record notation by the commanding officer of each Service member's sex-related offenses. The Services must develop and issue regulations to implement this requirement..
- Exception to Policy Allowing the Military Services the Option to Provide Expedited Transfers to Adult Sexual Assault Victims who FIle Restricted Reports
This memorandum directs the Services and the National Guard Bureau to develop a plan implement Expedited Transfers for sexual assault victims without having to make their report Unrestricted.
- Certification Standards for Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program Managers
Guidance for the certification for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program Managers (PM) establishes minimum standards for the qualifications necessary to be selected, trained, and certified for assignment as a SAPR PM.