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Sexual Assault Reporting Options Info Paper


The Department of Defense (DoD) Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) 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 investigated.

Key Points

Restricted Reporting.  Victims may report a sexual assault to the installation Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), a victim advocate, or healthcare personnel without a formal report being made to law enforcement or command.  Victims choosing this option may receive medical care and victim advocacy services, including:

  • 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

Unrestricted Reporting.  A victim who makes an unrestricted report of sexual assault may receive victim advocacy services and assistance pursuing an official investigation by making a report to law enforcement, the commander, or the SARC.

Chaplains.  Victims may also report a sexual assault to a chaplain.  While a report to a chaplain is not a restricted report under the policy, it is a privileged communication that may be protected under the Military Rules of Evidence.


Anyone who is entitled to receive care at a military treatment facility is eligible to receive medical treatment for a sexual assault.  Active duty service members, to include Military Service Academy cadets and midshipmen, or National Guard or Reserve service members when performing active service and inactive duty (as defined in section 101(d)(3) under Title 10), or a member of the Coast Guard, are eligible for the restricted reporting option. Members of the Reserve Component not performing federal duty, retired members of any component, and DoD civilian employees are not eligible for the restricted reporting option or benefits.


Reporting options are available worldwide to victims of sexual assault.


Close up of eyes with tears Sexual violence is a very serious public health problem that affects millions of women and men. In the United States, one in five women and one in 71 men have been raped in their lifetimes and nearly one in two women and one in five men have experienced other forms of sexual violence at some point in their lives.

Feet walking in the woods Good self-care is a challenge for many people and it can be especially challenging for survivors of rape, sexual assault, incest and sexual abuse. It can also be an important part of the healing process.




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