What is a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC)? The Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, or SARC, manages the installation Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program. The SARC serves as the subject matter expert to all echelons of installation leadership, and coordinates 24/7 victim care and case management for adult sexual assault victims from initial reporting through legal disposition and resolution of issues related to the victim's health and well-being. The SARC reports directly to the installation or host wing leadership.
The Family Advocacy Program manages sexual assault allegations when the alleged offender is the partner in context of a spousal relationship, same sex domestic partnership, unmarried intimate partner relationship or military dependents who are 17 years of age and younger.
What is a SAPR Victim Advocate (VA)? A SAPR Victim Advocate serves as the installation’s primary sexual assault victim advocate, providing a spectrum of support, advocacy, and liaison services to eligible military and civilian sexual assault victims in accordance with DoD and AF policies. SAPR VAs report directly to the SARC.
Who is eligible for SAPR support services? Active duty members, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard members and their dependents 18 and older who are eligible for treatment in the military health system, and Air Force civilian (appropriated and non-appropriated) employees.
- SAPR provides support for adult sexual assault victims when the perpetrator is someone other than the victim’s spouse or same sex domestic partner.
- The Family Advocacy Program manages sexual assault allegations when the alleged offender is the partner in context of a spousal relationship, same sex domestic partnership, unmarried intimate partner relationship or military dependents who are 17 years of age and younger.
How do I contact my SARC? You can visit the DoD Safe Helpline (https://safehelpline.org/search.cfm) or call 877-995-5247 to locate the SARC closest to your location. You can also call your base operator and obtain the phone number for your installation SARC.
How do I make an Unrestricted Report? If you would like to make an Unrestricted Report of sexual assault, there are several options for assistance. You may contact your local SARC, law enforcement or anyone in your chain-of-command. Unrestricted Reports of sexual assault do initiate law enforcement investigations and chain-of-command notifications. With an Unrestricted Report, you may receive medical treatment, mental health care, legal support, and advocacy services.
How do I make an Restricted Report? If you are interested in talking to someone without triggering a law enforcement investigation, Restricted Reporting allows you to confidentially disclose information about the sexual assault. You may receive medical treatment, mental health care, legal support, and advocacy services without triggering the investigative process. Conversations between you and the SARC or VA about the sexual assault are confidential and will not be disclosed to others including law enforcement or your chain of command. At any time, you may convert your Restricted Report to an Unrestricted Report.
*If you would like to make a Restricted Report of sexual assault, the following individuals can accept a Restricted Report:
- Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR)
- Victim Advocate (VA)
- Healthcare providers
*You may still make a restricted report to the above individuals even if you disclosed the sexual assault to your chain of command. However, if you first directly report the sexual assault to law enforcement (including chain of command that is law enforcement), a restricted report is no longer an option.
Can I speak to a chaplain about a sexual assault? Yes! Chaplains are available to talk to you and can provide confidential spiritual advice. Although Chaplains do not take official reports of sexual assault, they can put you in touch with a SARC or SAPR VA if you request.
What if I don't want my commander or leadership to know about a sexual assault? You do not have to tell your commander, leadership or law enforcement about your sexual assault in order to receive care or assistance. You have the option of making a Restricted Report without notification to your chain-of-command or initiating a law enforcement investigation. It is important to remember that the following individuals can accept a Restricted Report:
- Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC)
- Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Victim Advocate (VA)
- Healthcare providers
Can I report a sexual assault to a SARC from another service or base? If you are eligible for SAPR support services, you may file a report with any DoD SARC regardless of location. However, Air Force civilian employees are currently the only Department of Defense civilian employees eligible for SAPR services, and can only receive SAPR services from Air Force SARCs and SAPR victim advocates.
How do I know my information will be protected if I make a restricted report? The Department of Defense and Department of the Air Force regulations hold SARCs and SAPR Victim Advocates responsible for the protection and confidentiality of both Restricted and Unrestricted Reports. SAPR personnel who violate confidentiality rules are subject to the full range of disciplinary action ranging from administrative action to court-martial, depending on the status of the individual in question and the nature of the violation.
Can I access other off-installation, civilian helping resources? Yes, it can be helpful to have support in your own community after sexual assault. Many civilian resources have highly trained staff who can offer initial crisis response as well as resources for ongoing support related to sexual assault. These helping agencies can offer information and support including:
- Assisting a survivor with making an official report to civilian law enforcement
- Physical and psychological support, medical attention, and hospital accompaniment
- Legal/criminal justice system advocacy
- Help with safety planning, including Military Protective Orders and Civilian Protective Orders It is also important to remember that reporting a sexual assault to civilian law enforcement and/or legal authorities may limit a survivor's ability to file a restricted report with the DoD.
It is also important to remember that reporting a sexual assault to civilian law enforcement and/or legal authorities may limit a survivor's ability to file a restricted report with the DoD.
Where can I find information on current SAPR policy? The DAF SAPR program guidance and procedures can be found in AFI 90-6001. Additional information on DoD SAPR policy can be found at https://sapr.mil/policy.