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Policy

Leading Change

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.

Directive

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.

Instructions

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)

Integrated Prevention

Other Sexual Assault-Related Policies

SAPR Forms

Other Forms

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.

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.

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.

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.

This memorandum addresses several initiatives designed to improve victim support: replacement of lost forms, retaliation reporting, and an electronic File Locker.

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.

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..

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.

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.

This memorandum mandates the retention of certain forms related to reports of sexual assault for 50 years, regardless of the type of report or whether such retention was requested by the victim. Specifically, the law requires that the DD Form 2910, "Victim Reporting Preference Statement," and DD Form 2911, "DoD Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Report," be retained for 50 years in both Restricted and Unrestricted Report cases.

Describes the types of legal assistance victims of sexual assault can receive, including the Victim Witness Assistance Program, Victim/Witness Advocate or Liaison, reporting options, and more.

This guidance is provided to ensure compliance with the Department of Defense’s policy regarding the enlistment or commissioning of individuals with felony convictions for sexual assault. It is the Department’s policy that the enlistment or commissioning of these individuals is prohibited under any circumstances and that no waivers are authorized.