What to Do If You Are Sexually Assaulted In the Military

At least 25% of the women serving in the military have been sexually assaulted. More than 80% have been sexually harassed. This is the world our military lives in. Instead of figuring out why this is happening, the reasons of which could probably fill a book. I’ll be focusing on what to do if you find yourself of victim of this.

Report It

This might seem like a no-brainer…unless you’ve actually been sexually assaulted. As the USA Today pointed out on May 18, 2005, “Troops who have reported sexual assaults are 12 times more likely to be retaliated against than to see their attacker convicted of sex crimes” The military is an odd place. On the one hand you’ve got the idea of a community that has each other’s backs and on the other this report that mentions a soldier who was sexually assaulted and then mocked by several senior non-commissioned officers and told if they ever deployed, “…friendly fire is a tragic accident that happens.” This is bullshit. One of the ways this perverted tradition can be stopped is with more reporting. And it’s starting to get reported more and more and the more it gets reported, the more high ups will have to deal with it.

Sexual AssaultReport It to the Right Person

Who is the right person? Well I hate to say this, but it isn’t your direct chain of command. See issues with reporting above. With that being said, you’ve got two options. Restricted and unrestricted reporting. Restrictive reporting means your chain of command and law enforcement will not be notified but you will be provided medical/mental care and be directed to victim advocacy. You need to bring it up to one of these three people and only these three people to make sure it remains confidential and you get the help you deserve:

  • Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC)
  • SAPR Victim Advocate (VA)
  • Healthcare Provider or Personnel

Unrestrictive reporting means your chain of command and law enforcement will be notified. The following are people you should report to:

  • Law Enforcement/MCIO (will initiate an investigation and start a “report of investigation”)
  • Commander (who will then immediately contact the MCIO to start a “report of investigation”)
  • Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) (who will fill out a report with the “DD Form 2910” where the victim elects a reporting option)
  • SAPR Victim Advocate (SAPR VA) (who will fill out a report with the “DD Form 2910”)
  • Health care personnel (who will then immediately contact the SARC to fill out the “DD Form 2910”)

There are benefits to both and what you decide to do is up to you. Keep in mind though, if you select restrictive reporting, your attacker will not be prosecuted. Nor will you be able to discuss your assault with certain family members or friends, if you wish to remain anonymous, as they may be required to report your assault. But it should be noted, if you make a restricted report, at any time, you may make it an unrestricted one.

The point is to seek help and I strongly encourage anyone who has experienced a sexual assault to visit the links below. Remember, you’re a soldier first and if some asshole thought differently you shouldn’t have to suffer through it alone.

MyDuty.mil        SafeHelpLine.org             SexualAssault.army.mil                 VictimsOfCrime.org

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Mark Wasson

Mark Wasson

Mark spent 7 years in the Minnesota National Guard as a combat medic. When's he's not busy losing friends, he's drinking with his dog. Befriend him on Facebook or follow him on a Twitter that he doesn't use.
Mark Wasson
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