SAPR program helps DOD sexual assault victims

Courtesy of the Ramstein SARC

Sexual assault is a violent crime that, unfortunately, occurs in all corners of American society. Accordingly, the Department of Defense strives to ensure that servicemembers are aware that sexual assault is not tolerated.

To combat sexual assault, the DOD has implemented the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, which reinforces a culture of prevention, response and accountability. The goal of the SAPR program is to ensure the safety, dignity and well-being of all servicemembers through training and education programs, treatment and support of victims.

Advancements in reporting options have helped create a climate of confidence in reporting. One of the policies implemented in June 2005 was the restricted reporting option, which enables victims to come forward without triggering the investigative process, yet still receive the care that they deserve.

 Sixty-five percent of the increase in sexual assault reports involving members of the service can be attributed to the restricted reporting option.

Giving first-class care to a victim, regardless of where he or she is located, constitutes the core of the DOD SAPR program. In order to provide consistent levels of care to victims, local personnel, known as Sexual Assault Response Coordinators and Victim Advocates, respond to assaults and ensure appropriate levels of care are provided to each victim.

SARCs manage each installation’s sexual assault prevention and response program, serving as the single point of contact to coordinate sexual assault victim care and tracking services provided from initial report of a sexual assault through disposition and resolution of the victim’s health and well-being.

While the SARC primarily provides management and oversight of victim care, the VA provides 24/7 direct response to a victim’s needs. VAs help in navigating the military’s response network. They are not counselors, therapists, or investigators, but instead furnish comprehensive information on available options and resources so the victim can make informed decisions about their care and involvement in the investigative process.

If you have questions or need assistance, contact Capt. Avis Resch or Capt. Patricia Shelly, KMC Air Force SARCs, at 480-7272 or 06371-47-7272.