Whether or not you’re not sure your experience qualifies as sexual assault, follow the steps below just in case:
If you were assaulted two days ago or longer, there’s still time. Follow as many of the steps above as you can and seek help from your JFHQ SARC or VA.
- Get to a safe location away from the perpetrator as soon as you can.
- If you need immediate medical treatment, or are in life-threatening danger, dial 911.
- Call your JFHQ SARC immediately. If your SARC is not available contact:
Sexual Assault Self Helpline: 877-995-5247
- Preserve the evidence.
- Do not change your clothes or shower
- Do not clean the room or assault site
- Do not eat, drink or brush your teeth
- Do not urinate
- Seek medical attention if necessary - even if you do not have any visible physical injuries, you may be at risk of becoming pregnant or acquiring a sexually transmitted infections.
- Write down as many details of the assault as you can.
- Go to a medical treatment facility (MTF) or local hospital as soon as possible and ask for a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (“SANE Nurse”). Have a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) done, which will collect evidence against the alleged subject. If you suspect you have been drugged, request that a urine sample be collected. You may also want to be tested for STIs.
- Ask for a Victim Advocate, who may be assigned from different unit or service. If you are deployed, ask for a SARC or VA at the nearest clinic.Many victims of sexual assault stay silent, believing nothing will be done if they come forward, fearing ridicule, gossip, exclusion, and even damage to their military careers. But if you’ve been sexually assaulted, it’s important to act quickly. Seeking help and speaking out is the best way to ensure you receive the help you need to heal from the incident and prevent another incident from happening to someone else. Victims of Sexual Assault can report an incident and decide (if no one else knows about the incident) to just receive services and may not initiate an investigation.
Many victims of sexual assault stay silent, believing nothing will be done if they come forward, fearing ridicule, gossip, exclusion, and even damage to their military careers. But if you’ve been sexually assaulted, it’s important to act quickly. Seeking help and speaking out is the best way to ensure you receive the help you need to heal from the incident and prevent another incident from happening to someone else. Victims of Sexual Assault can report an incident and decide (if no one else knows about the incident) to just receive services and may not initiate an investigation.
Types of Reporting:
Restricted Report: Intended to give the victim additional time and increased control over the release and management of the victim’s personal information, the Restricted Report enables military members in a duty status to report allegations of sexual assault to specified personnel without triggering an investigation. Specified personnel include the SARC, Healthcare Personnel, trained Victim Advocate or Chaplain. Other elements of the Restricted Report include:
- Complete confidentiality
- Access to medical care, counseling and a victim advocate
- Empowers the victim to seek relevant information and support to make an informed decision about participating in the criminal process
Unrestricted Report: An unrestricted report is any report of a sexual assault made through normal reporting channels which includes the victim’s chain of command, law enforcement, and the criminal investigative service. The SARC will be notified and assign a victim advocate to the individual. Details of the allegation will be provided only to those personnel who have a legitimate need to know.
Your Sexual Assault Support Team:
Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC): The SARC answers to the command and is responsible for overseeing policy, education, victim services, data reporting and collection, with the intent to implement training and policy based on the needs of the state.
Victim Advocate (VA): Victim Advocates report directly to the Joint Force Headquarters Sexual Assault Response Coordinator and provide valuable support to victims of sexual assault, guiding victims through the claims process, and providing resources to help victims recover and resolve their case against the alleged subject. They can be relied upon for:
- Crisis Intervention
- Information on medical and counseling services
- Referrals to health and wellness providers
- Ongoing non-clinical support
- Policy/Process Guidance
- Victim support through investigations and court proceedings
- Assistance on the DD Form 2910, Victim Preference Statement, and other Reporting Options for which the victim is eligible
- Help for as along as the victim requires it
Chaplain: Your military spiritual leaders are available to provide privileged and un-breeched covered communications. Reporting to the Chaplain qualifies for Restricted Reporting. If the victim wants a restricted or unrestricted case, they must speak with the JFHQ SARC.
Healthcare Personnel: HCPs will provide confidential communication with victims, and will report incidents of sexual assault to the JFHQ SARC under the Restricted Reporting designation. If the victim wants a restricted or unrestricted case, they must speak with the JFHQ SARC.