Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination that involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature between the same or opposite genders.
Sexual Assault is categorized as intentional sexual contact characterized by use of force, threats, intimidation, or abuse of authority or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Sexual assault includes rape, forcible sodomy (oral or anal sex), and other unwanted sexual contact that is aggravated, abusive, or wrongful (including unwanted and inappropriate sexual contact), or attempts to commit these acts. [Source: Glossary, DoDD 6495.01, 23 Jan 12]
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.
Who May Make a Restricted Report?
Restricted reporting is available at this time to military personnel of the Armed Forces and Military Dependents 18 years of age and older who are eligible for treatment in the military healthcare system, who were victims of sexual assault perpetrated by someone other than a spouse or intimate partner. Military personnel include members on active duty and members of the Reserve component (Reserve and National Guard). NG and Reserve Component members will be eligible to receive limited Sexual Harassment Assault Response & Prevention (SHARP) support services from a SARC and a SAPR VA and are eligible to file a Restricted or Unrestricted Report if they are reporting a sexual assault that occurred prior to, or while not performing active service or inactive training. SHARP services are those that are provided by a SARC or SAPR VA.
Whether they file a Restricted or Unrestricted Report, members of the Reserve Components shall have access to medical treatment and counseling for injuries and illness incurred from a sexual assault inflicted upon a Service member when performing active duty service and during inactive duty training. Medical entitlements remain dependent on a Line of Duty determination as to whether or not the sexual assault incident occurred in an active duty or inactive duty training status. However, regardless of their duty status at the time that the sexual assault incident occurred, or at the time that they are seeking SHARP services, Reserve Component members can elect either the Restricted or Unrestricted Reporting option and have access to the SAPR services of a SARC and a SAPR VA.
At this time Retired members of any component are not eligible for a restricted report and Department of Defense civilian employees are not eligible.
Considerations when electing a restricted report
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.
To be connected to your SHARP SARC or Victim Advocate, call (907) 854-1899 or click here for a contact list.
To learn more about the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Prevention program click here.