Sexual Assault Prevention & Response

Preventing sexual assault is everyone's duty. Help is available. To receive assistance, call the 24/7 Sexual Assault Support Line at (928) 941-3601 or call the DoD Safe Helpline at (877) 995-5247.

Mission and Vision Statement

The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program (SAPR) empowers Marines and Sailors to end sexual assault by providing practical tools to intervene before sexual assaults occur. SAPR also provides resources for sexual assault victims. After an assault, victims are encouraged to contact a SAPR VA for support, information, and to make the decision between restricted and unrestricted reporting.

About SAPR

What is sexual assault?

The DOD defines sexual assault as intentional sexual contact, characterized by use of force, threats, intimidation, 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 (to include unwanted and inappropriate sexual contact), or attempts to commit these acts.

What is consent?

Consent is a freely given agreement to the conduct at issue by a competent person.  An expression or lack of consent through words or conduct means there is no consent.  Lack of verbal or physical resistance does not constitute consent.  Submission resulting from the use of force, threat of force, or placing another person in fear also does not constitute consent. A current or previous dating or social or sexual relationship by itself or the manner of dress of the person involved with the accused in the conduct at issue shall not constitute consent.  A sleeping, unconscious, or incompetent person cannot consent.  A person cannot consent  to force causing or likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm or to being rendered unconscious. A person cannot consent while under threat or in fear.  A person cannot consent if the subject makes a fraudulent representation that the sexual act serves a professional purpose or induces
a belief that the subject is another person.  All the surrounding circumstances are considered when determining whether a person gave consent. A person's previous sexual acts, experiences, and /or history does not constitute consent.

Who does the SAPR program cover?

The SAPR program applies to adult victims of sexual assault in a non-domestic situation (e.g.: a Marine sexually assaulted by Service member, friend, civilian, or stranger). Marines assaulted by someone they have a domestic relationship with (e.g. spouse, father/mother of their child, live in boyfriend/girlfriend) are not covered under the SAPR program. The domestic violence sexual assault victim is covered under Marine & Family Services (M&FS) domestic violence policy. If you've been sexually assaulted and have questions about whether or not you can receive services, call the Sexual Assault Support Line at (928) 941-3601.

I was sexually assaulted, but I'm concerned about getting in trouble for something I was doing before the assault.

If you engaged in prohibited conduct (e.g. underage drinking, out of bounds, off limit establishment, fraternization, or adultery) prior to the sexual assault, the command will decide whether to bring disciplinary actions on the misconduct. Commanders are encouraged to wait until the sexual assault investigation is completed before holding a victim accountable for their misconduct. However, a commander has complete discretion in addressing violations of established rules and orders within the unit. The SARC will advise the commander of the Commandant White Letter dated 29 April 2005, which encourages commanders to consider delaying addressing a victim's collateral misconduct.

Will the command keep me safe?

Yes. In unrestricted reporting cases, MCO 1752.5 C requires a commander to ensure victims are reasonably protected. DoD policy and MCO 1752.5 C, provide guidance to commanders that when appropriate the victim and offender should not remain in the same work and/or living area.

What if I work with the person who assaulted me and I want to keep a restricted report, how will the command keep me safe?

With the nature of a restricted report being preservation of your confidentiality, a command ability to protect you is limited because the command will not be aware of the incident. The VA will assist you in the development of a safety plan.

Reporting Options and Services

Restricted Reporting

When a Marine/Sailor chooses the restricted reporting option, the sexual assault is not reported to the command or law enforcement. The victim and offender's identifying information is kept within the SAPR confidential sphere with limited exceptions (for more information about these exceptions, call the Sexual Assault Support Line). The entities that can receive information under a restricted report are: SAPR VA, Healthcare Providers, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, the Victim's Legal Counsel (VLC), or medical personnel. If anyone else receives information about the assault, restricted reporting may not be available.

Benefits of restricted reporting:
  • Allows Marine/Sailor to receive advocacy services, counseling, medical attention and other services without identifying self as victim to command or law enforcement.
  • Victim can undergo Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) to preserve evidence for 10 years. After 1 year, the SARC will contact the victim to see if they would like to change their reporting option from Restricted to Unrestricted.
  • Command will only be notified that sexual assault occurred: no identifying information will be given to command.
  • Restricted report can be changed to unrestricted report at any time.
Limitations of restricted reporting:
  • • Because the command does not receive information about the sexual assault, the command will not be able to separate the victim and offender, a Military Protective Order will not be issued, and the offender will not be apprehended.
  • • Those who are in the victim's immediate chain of command are required by Marine Corps policy to report the incident to the CO, who will notify the SARC and NCIS. If the victim discloses information about the sexual assault to anyone outside the confidential sphere, the report becomes unrestricted. This means that in restricted reports, the victim is unable to talk to others about the incident without risking disclosure to a mandatory reporter.

Unrestricted Reporting

When a Marine/Sailor chooses the unrestricted reporting option, the sexual assault is reported to command and law enforcement.

Benefits of unrestricted reporting:
  • Allows Marine to receive advocacy services, counseling, medical attention, and other services.
  • Victim can undergo Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) to collect potential evidence from the assault.
  • Assault will be investigated by law enforcement.
  • Offender may be apprehended and face conviction.
  • Military Protective Order may be issued.
  • Victim can choose not to participate with process at any time. (Note: Law enforcement is required to continue investigation, but victim is not forced to cooperate).