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Tools for Leaders/Command

Sexual Assault

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The DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program helps prevent sexual assault involving service members through training and education programs, provides treatment and support to victims of sexual assault and promotes military system accountability when sexual assaults are reported and investigated.

Key points

  • Sexual assault response coordinator - The sexual assault response coordinator serves as the single point of contact at the installation/unit level to coordinate a response to sexual assault when a report is made, assisting the senior commander in ensuring victims receive responsive care and referring or assigning victims to a victim advocate.
  • Victim advocates - Victim advocates are available 24 hours a day through personal or telephonic contact to help victims of sexual assault consider their options and learn more about their rights, with the goal of ensuring victims are actively involved in all aspects of their safety and service plans. Victim advocacy services include:
  • Assessment of safety and assistance developing a safety plan
  • Assessment of medical needs, information about a sexual assault forensic examination and referral to medical care
  • Information about the installation's response to a report of sexual assault, including information about reporting options and the military disciplinary system
  • Comprehensive information about and referral to military and civilian resources
  • Reporting - Victims who want to pursue an official investigation of a sexual assault can report to their command or anyone in their unit, the sexual assault response coordinator, law enforcement, a victim advocate, chaplain, healthcare personnel and a judge advocate. Victims will not jeopardize their restricted report if they report their sexual assault to their sexual assault response coordinator, victim advocate, healthcare personnel or the chaplain. Restricted reporting enables victims to access medical and victim advocacy services without command or law enforcement involvement.
  • Policy - More detail on the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, the roles of the sexual assault response coordinator and victim advocate and sexual assault reporting options are provided in DoD Instruction 6495.02, "Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program Procedures."


Support and advocacy through the sexual assault response coordinator and victim advocates are offered to service members on active duty, military service academy cadets and midshipmen, and National Guard and reserve service members performing inactive duty training. National Guard and reserve service members can receive military sexual trauma support through the Department of Veterans Affairs if they are no longer on active-duty status.


Support and victim advocacy services are available worldwide to victims of sexual assault.


Department of Defense Policy
Department of Defense Legislation
Department of Defense Service Regulations and Orders
Reporting Options
Support Services
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program Info Paper
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response general information
Sexual Assault Reporting Options Info Paper
Victim Assistance
Additional Resources


Close up of eyes with tears The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response annual reports are released to address the crime of sexual assault in the military, how it’s being reported, and strides for prevention and response.

Reporting programs. Service members (and, in some cases, their adult dependents) have two reporting options: restricted and unrestricted reporting. Understand the difference, read examples and find simple instructions to ensure that you can respond to the crime of sexual assault.

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