Reporting an Incident
Many victims of sexual assault stay silent, believing nothing will be done if they come forward, fearing ridicule, gossip, exclusion, and even damage to their military careers. But if you’ve been sexually assaulted, it’s important to act quickly. Seeking help and speaking out is the best way to ensure you receive the help you need to heal from the incident and prevent another incident from happening to someone else. Victims of Sexual Assault can report an incident and decide (if no one else knows about the incident) to just receive services and may not initiate an investigation.
- Whether or not you’re not sure your experience qualifies as sexual assault, follow the steps below just in case:
Get to a safe location away from the perpetrator as soon as you can.
- If you need immediate medical treatment, or are in life-threatening danger, dial 911.
- Call your State/Territory Joint Force Headquarters Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (JFHQ SARC) immediately
- New York National Guard Sexual Assault Response Coordinator - 518-786-4733, or Cell: 518-339-7586
- DoD SafeHelpline 24/7 - Call: 877-995-5247
- Preserve the evidence. Do not change your clothes, shower, clean the room or assault site, eat, drink, brush your teeth, or urinate.
- Seek medical attention if necessary - even if you do not have any visible physical injuries, you may be at risk of becoming pregnant or acquiring a sexually transmitted infections.
- Write down as many details of the assault as you can.
- Go to a medical treatment facility (MTF) or local hospital as soon as possible and ask for a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (“SANE Nurse”). Have a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) done, which will collect evidence against the alleged subject. If you suspect you have been drugged, request that a urine sample be collected. You may also want to be tested for STIs.
- Ask for a Victim Advocate, who may be assigned from different unit or service. If you are deployed, ask for a SARC or VA at the nearest clinic.