As a Uniformed Victim Advocate for MAG-24, it is my responsibility to provide confidential support and services to victims of sexual assault. These responsibities were set forth in policies established by the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program at HQMC.
Sexual assault is a crime. It is defined as intentional sexual contact, characterized by use of force, physical threat, or abuse of authority or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Sexual assault can occur without regard to gender, spousal relationship, or age of the victim. In the event of a sexual assault, a victim has the option of a Restricted Report, which means they can receive services and medical care anonymously. Military personnel are mandatory reporters of sexual assault, except where policy has made certain members exempt through confidentiality. Members with confidentiality are Uniformed Victim Advocates (UVA), Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARC), Marine & Family Services (M&FS) personnel, Chaplains, and Healthcare providers.
If you are a victim of sexual assault, contact any one of your UVAs or one of the civilian Victim Advocates (VA) immediately. We will ensure you receive prompt medical attention and will advise you of your options in reporting the assault. We assist victims in dealing with command, law enforcement, and medical personnel; if desired, we can be present during medical exams and court proceedings. VAs are civilian members of the M&FS program, who are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide crisis intervention and support for victims of sexual assault.
PLEASE BE SURE TO SPEAK TO A UNIFORMED VICTIM ADVOCATE OR CIVILIAN VICTIM ADVOCATE BEFORE YOU CONTACT LAW ENFORCEMENT OR YOUR COMMAND. Once you inform law enforcement officials or a representative from your command, a restricted report is no longer an option.
It is vital that sexual assaults be reported. This is not only for your own health and safety, but for the health and safety of others who may become victims. Although you may understandably feel frightened or embarrassed, please do not allow those feelings to influence your decision to report the crime. Remember, this is a crime against you, and you are not to blame - the perpetrator is.