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Special Victims' Counsel / Victims' Legal Counsel

The legal process for prosecuting sexual assault cases can often be daunting and confusing for victims. Most Judge Advocate General (JAG) officers in the military work for commanders and are required to inform them of incidents that happen within their command. The Department, working with the Services, has created a legal support function for victims of sexual assault that provides legal advice and guidance, and maintains a victim's confidentiality. A victim can access this support whether they file a Restricted or Unrestricted Report, even if they have not yet made an official report.

The Army, Air Force, National Guard, and Coast Guard refer to these professionals as Special Victims' Counsel (SVC), while the Navy and Marine Corps have labeled them Victims' Legal Counsel (VLC). Whether an SVC or VLC, these lawyers have experience trying cases in both military and civilian trials. They understand the legal process and are able to guide victims as a perpetrator is brought to trial.

For more information about the Services' SVC or VLC programs, view the following: