This option is for victims of sexual assault who wish to confidentially disclose the crime to specifically identified individuals and receive medical treatment and services without triggering the official investigative process. Service members who are sexually assaulted and desire restricted reporting under this policy must report the assault to a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), Victim Advocate (VA), or a healthcare personnel.
Military healthcare personnel will initiate the appropriate care and treatment, and report the sexual assault to the SARC in lieu of reporting the assault to law enforcement or the chain of command. Upon notification of a reported sexual assault, the SARC will immediately assign an advocate to the victim. The assigned Victim Advocate will provide accurate information on the process of restricted and/or unrestricted reporting.
At the victim's discretion/request an appropriately trained healthcare personnel shall conduct a sexual assault forensic examination (SAFE), which may include the collection of evidence. In the absence of a Department of Defense provider, the Service member will be referred to an appropriate civilian facility for the SAFE.
Who May Make A Restricted Report
Restricted reporting is available to military personnel of the Armed Forces and the Coast Guard. Military personnel include members on active duty and members of the Reserve component (Reserve and National Guard). Military dependents 18 years of age and older who are eligible for treatment in the military healthcare system, and who were victims of sexual assault perpetrated by someone other than a spouse or intimate partner may make a Restricted Report. Retired members of any component are not eligible. Department of Defense civilian employees are not eligible.
Considerations when Electing a Restricted Report
·You receive appropriate medical treatment, advocacy, and counseling.
· Provides some personal space and time to consider your options and to begin the healing process.
·Empowers you to seek relevant information and support to make more informed decisions about participating in the criminal investigation.
·You control the release and management of your personal information.
·You decide whether and when to move forward with initiating an investigation.
This option is for victims of sexual assault who desire medical treatment, referral services and an official investigation of the crime. When selecting unrestricted reporting, you should use current reporting channels, e.g. chain of command, law enforcement or report the incident to the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), or request healthcare personnel to notify law enforcement. Upon notification of a reported sexual assault, the SARC will immediately assign a Victim Advocate (VA). At the victim's discretion/request, healthcare personnel shall conduct a sexual assault forensic examination (SAFE), which may include the collection of evidence. Details regarding the incident will be limited to only those personnel who have a legitimate need to know.
Additional Restricted and Unrestricted Reporting considerations can be further be discussed with your Sexual Assault Response Coordinator or VA.
Role of the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator
The Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) is considered the center of gravity when it comes to ensuring that victims of sexual assault receive appropriate and responsive care. They serve as the single point of contact to coordinate sexual assault victim care. The term Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) is a standardized term utilized throughout the Department of Defense and the Services to facilitate communication and transparency regarding sexual assault response capability.
Role of the Victim Advocate
The Victim Advocate (VA) provides essential support and care to the victim to include providing non-clinical information on available options and resources to assist the victim in making informed decisions as they progress through resolution and healing. The VA maintains communications and contact with victim as needed for continued victim support.