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Sexual Violence Support & Experiences Study (SVSES)

Sexual Violence Support & Experiences Study

Study Open Now
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What is the SVSES? ​

The SVSES will allow the DoD to learn directly from Service members about their experiences with sexual violence, and, specifically, sexual assault. The surveys are completely confidential and ask questions about Service member satisfaction with support services, aspects of the military justice process, and questions about Service member health, well-being, and career progression.

The study is sponsored by the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.

In order to continue improving the military’s support services and accountability processes, it’s important to hear from Service members. Traditionally, OPA has collected feedback from Service members at a single point in time. However, we know that perceptions and experiences may change over time; that’s why the SVSES is a continuous effort. Service members who join the study will take an initial survey followed by a series of shorter follow-up surveys.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?

The SVSES is open to all members of the Active and Reserve components who have experienced sexual assault in the military, regardless of whether you reported the experience to military authorities​. Service members can join the study at any time.

Why should I take the survey?

Data from the SVSES will provide DoD policy offices and Service branch leaders with information about the impact of sexual assault on Service members and inform ways to improve Sexual Assault Prevention and Response programs and policies.

How can I take the survey?

To participate in the SVSES, please visit

Some Service members may receive an email inviting them to join the study. Invitation emails will be sent to individuals who previously made an unrestricted sexual assault report to military authorities and to individuals who previously indicated interest in learning more about the SVSES.

How is my identity protected? Will my answers be kept private?

Participation in the surveys is confidential to the fullest extent allowed by law. There may be Federal laws that require reporting of threats you may make to yourself or others. We will not share your individual responses to the survey questions. The government and its contractors have a number of policies and procedures to ensure the survey data are safe and protected. For example, no identifying information (name, address, Social Security Number) is ever stored in the same file as survey responses. This data collection is being carried out under the System of Record Notice (SORN) DHRA 03 (“Survey Data and Assessment” [July 28, 2021, 86 FR 40498]).

How will my responses be used?​

DoD and Service Sexual Assault Prevention and Response leadership will be able to use information from the SVSES to inform improvements to support services survivors receive and the processes survivors go through to seek accountability.

Do I have to take every survey?​

No, you do not need to take every survey. You can skip any follow-up survey. You will remain in the study until you withdraw from the study.

Can I withdraw from the study?

If you wish to withdraw from the study, please notify the Survey Processing Center by sending an e-mail to or call: 1-800-881-5307.