WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) --
April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month and an opportunity to make personnel aware of changes in restricted reporting policies and protections available to victims.
“This policy change is important to SAPR reporting because it gives AFMC victims, seeking services, added control over their options,” said Yvonne Veil, AFMC Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program manager.
Victims of sexual assault still have multiple reporting options. These include restricted, unrestricted and independent reporting.
Restricted reporting allows the victim to make a report to the SAPR office, but not to the Office of Special Investigations. Unrestricted reporting requires a report be made to the OSI and command. Independent reporting occurs when a third-party reports the incident to command or law enforcement. Once the victim’s leadership knows an incident has occurred, filing a report is required.
Instructions containing SAPR policies were re-released Nov. 10, 2021, and the restricted reporting option was expanded following an Independent Review Commission’s findings. The findings prompted strengthening the original policies.
The new policy change allows any victim to make a restricted report after knowledge of the incident has been reported to officials, or SAPR. This is a major change from past policies which limited options after an assault was reported to command officials. Now, victims have the option to make a restricted report even if the assault is disclosed through their chain of command as long as it is not divulged to law enforcement.
Changes in the new policies for restricted reporting include:
-Confidential report made to the SAPR Office by the victim through signing DD Form 2910
-Available to military members, dependents (18+) and civilian employees
-The sexual assault is NOT reported to OSI or command
-Victim may receive medical care, including forensic exam, advocacy, counseling and Victim's Counsel
-May choose to go unrestricted at any time
-Victims may make a restricted report even if they disclose the assault to their commander, supervisor or chain of command, and before or after an independent investigation is initiated as long as the victim has not disclosed the assault to law enforcement
-May enter subject information into CATCH, a serial defender program which gives people making a sexual assault report, where the name of the suspect is not known by law enforcement, an opportunity to anonymously submit suspect information to help identify serial offenders.
“SAPR’s primary mission is to take care of people. The expanded eligibility to file a restricted report gives our SAPR teams in the field greater flexibility in fulfilling the mission,” Viel said.
Additional information on SAPR can be found on the Air Force SAPR page.