MILITARY SURVIVORS

In FY18, 20,500 service members were sexually assaulted or raped including 13,000 women and 7,500 men.

“Today I bent over to get something. And I didn’t know there was anybody behind me,” a female junior enlisted Marine told one of the focus groups. "Bent over to grab something really quick and a sergeant is behind me and said, ‘Oh, don’t tempt me.’”

Military Times

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WHAT IS RESTRICTED AND UNRESTRICTED REPORTING?

For more information and additional details regarding Restricted and Unrestricted Reporting, please visit the SHARP website

RESTRICTED REPORTING:

Sexual assault victims who want to confidentially disclose a sexual assault without triggering an official investigation can contact a SARC/SHARP Specialist, VA/SHARP Specialist, or a healthcare provider. By filing a restricted report with a SARC/SHARP Specialist, VA/SHARP Specialist, or a healthcare provider, a victim can disclose the sexual assault without triggering an official investigation and receive medical treatment, advocacy services, legal assistance, and counseling.

Victim conversations with a SARC/SHARP Specialist or VA/SHARP Specialist about the sexual assault are confidential communications, not to be disclosed to others, including law enforcement or the chain of command, except in a few very rare circumstances.

​Discussing a sexual assault with a chaplain is not the same as filing a restricted report, but communications with a chaplain are privileged under Military Rule of Evidence 503 and AR 165-1.

UNRESTRICTED REPORTING:

This option is for victims of sexual assault who desire medical treatment, counseling, legal assistance, SARC/SHARP Specialist and VA/SHARP Specialist assistance, and an official investigation of the crime. When selecting unrestricted reporting, you may report the incident to the SARC/SHARP Specialist or VA/SHARP Specialist, request healthcare providers to notify law enforcement, contact law enforcement yourself, or use current reporting channels, e.g., chain of command.

​Upon notification of a reported sexual assault, the SARC/SHARP Specialist will immediately assign a VA/SHARP Specialist. You will also be advised of your right to access to legal assistance that is separate from prosecution resources. At the victim's discretion/request, the healthcare provider 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.

STATISTICS

7,825 REPORTS

Overall in FY19, the Military Services received a total of 7,825 reports of sexual assault involving Service members as either victims or subjects, which represents a 3 percent increase from reports received in FY18.

SEXUAL VIOLENCE PRIOR TO SERVICE & ASSAULT BY A SERVICE MEMBER

In addition to the 6,236 Service members who reported an incident of sexual assault, the Department also received 652 reports from Service members for incidents that occurred prior to their entering military Service, and 937 reports from U.S. civilians and foreign nationals who alleged being sexually assaulted by a Service member.

UNRESTRICTED REPORTS

Of the 7,825 total reports, the Military Services received 5,699 Unrestricted Reports involving Service members as victims or subjects in FY19, a two percent decrease compared to the 5,805 received in FY18.

RESTRICTED REPORTS

The Military Services initially received 2,750 Restricted Reports involving Service members as either victims or subjects. Of the 2,750 initial Restricted Reports, about a quarter (624 reports) later converted to Unrestricted Reports. These converted Restricted Reports are now counted with the Unrestricted Reports. There were 2,126 reports remaining Restricted at the end of FY19, which is a difference of about 17 percent compared to the 1,818 that remained Restricted at the end of FY18.

SEXUAL ASSAULT AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE U.S. MILITARY

Background of this Study: In early 2014, the Department of Defense (DoD) asked the RAND National Defense Research Institute to conduct an independent assessment of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and gender discrimination in the military. The resulting study, the RAND Military Workplace Study (RMWS), invited close to 560,000 active- and reserve-component service members to participate in a survey fielded in August and September of 2014, making it one of the largest surveys of its kind ever conducted for DoD. More than 170,000 service members completed the survey. Compared with prior DoD studies, the RMWS takes a new approach to counting individuals in the military who experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, and gender discrimination in the past year.

Results

  • An estimated 20,300 of the 1.3 million active-component service members were sexually assaulted in the past year.

  • Approximately 1.0 percent of men and 4.9 percent of women experienced a sexual assault in the past year

    • estimated 10,600 servicemen and 9,600 servicewomen (numbers do not add to 20,300 due to rounding).

  • Among those who were sexually assaulted, 43 percent of women and 35 percent of men experienced penetrative assaults

  • Nearly all assaults against active-component service members in the past year (90 percent) took place within a military setting or were perpetrated by military personnel.

  • Relative to women, men who were sexually assaulted were more likely to have experienced multiple incidents in the past year, to have been assaulted by multiple offenders during a single incident, and to have been assaulted at work or during duty hours.

    • They are also more likely to describe the event as hazing or as intended to abuse or humiliate them.

    • Sexual assaults of men were also less likely to involve alcohol than assaults of women.

    • Finally, men who experienced a sexual assault were less likely to report the assault to authorities and less likely to tell anyone at all about the incident.

  • ​An estimated 116,600 active-component service members were sexually harassed in the past year

    • Women experienced significantly higher rates than men: 22 percent of women and 7 percent of men experienced sexual harassment in the past year.

    • RAND estimates that 43,900 active-component service members experienced gender discrimination in the past year (12 percent of women and 2 percent of men).

    • In nearly 60 percent of these cases, the violations were committed by a supervisor or unit leader. 

HELP FOR MILITARY SURVIVORS

FORT BENNING SHARP Hotline: 706.566.7393

FORT BENNING Family Advocacy Program (FAP) Hotline: 762.408.2234

As a military member or dependent, you may have military-specific questions or want to know about the Department of Defense's policies.  The Sexual Assault Support Center DOES work with military victims and victims of active duty perpetrators.

The Directive includes a DoD Victims' Bill of Rights which resembles the Federal Crime Victims' Bill of Rights. DoD law enforcement and legal personnel directly engaged in the detection, investigation or prosecution of crimes are responsible for ensuring that victims of military-related crime are accorded the following rights:

  • The right to be treated with fairness and respect for your dignity and privacy;

  • The right to be reasonably protected from the accused offender;

  • The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of public preliminary hearings, pretrial confinement hearings, court proceedings, and clemency and parole hearings related to the offense;

  • The right to be present at all public proceedings related to the offense unless the hearing officer or military judge determines that your testimony would be materially altered if you as the victim heard other testimony;

  • The right to reasonably confer with the prosecutor/Trial Counsel in the case;

  • The right to receive available restitution;

  • The right to be reasonably heard at: 1) a public hearing concerning the continuation of any pretrial confinement of the accused; 2) a sentencing hearing related to the offense; 3) a public Military Department Clemency and Parole Board hearing related to the offense;

  • The right to submit a written statement for the consideration of the Convening Authority prior to taking action on findings and sentence;

  • The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay;

  • The right to be provided information, if applicable, about the conviction, sentencing, imprisonment, Convening Authority's action, appellate review, and release of the offender.


Additionally, court-martial convening authorities, as well as clemency and parole boards, are directed to consider making restitution to the victim a condition of pretrial agreements, sentence reduction, clemency and parole. They may consider victim statements on the impact of crime when reviewing a case.


For further information on crime issues, see the DoD Victim and Witness Assistance Council web page at: http://vwac.defense.gov/

IF YOU BELIEVE YOU WERE THE VICTIM OF REPRISAL, RETALIATION, OR OSTRACISM

Federal law prohibits military members, civilian employees, and contractors from reprising, retaliating, or ostracizing individuals who report a crime or provide information relating to a criminal investigation. Prohibited actions may include taking, or threatening to take an unfavorable personnel action; withholding, or threatening to withhold a favorable personnel action; or socially ostracizing you for making a protected communication. If you believe someone has reprised, retaliated, or ostracized you for reporting a sexual assault or participating in a criminal investigation, contact your Sexual Assault Response Coordinator or the DoD IG Hotline.

In providing services and assistance to victims, the DoD programs emphasize an interdisciplinary approach involving the following:

  • Law enforcement personnel

  • Criminal investigators

  • Chaplains

  • Family advocacy personnel

  • Emergency room personnel

  • Family service center personnel

  • Equal opportunity personnel

  • Judge advocates

  • Unit commanding officers

  • Corrections personnel


Important DoD Information Forms for VictimsVictim and witness assistance programs throughout DoD use standard forms to advise victims and witnesses of their rights during all stages of a case. Each Military Service is also required to provide DoD an annual report indicating the numbers of victims and witnesses who have received assistance and services. 

The following list provides the DoD form's number, the title of the form, purpose, and when to they are used:

DD 2701 
Initial Contact 
Provides notice to victims and witnesses on rights and information on the military justice system.

DD Forms 2702 & 2703 
Prosecution 
Provide notice to victims and witnesses on rights during court martial proceedings and information about court-martial process.

DD Forms 2704 & 2705 
Confinement 
Provide information to victim on the offender's sentence, confinement status, clemency and parole hearings and release from confinement.

DD Form 2706 
Annual Report 
Provides statistical information on assistance rendered to victims and witnesses.

Questions about our free & confidential services?

Crisis Hotline: 706.571.6010

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