If a friend has been assaulted, there are several things you can do to help. Ensure your friend is at a safe location away from the perpetrator. If not, take him or her to a safe place. If there is an immediate threat to the victim’s safety, contact military law enforcement or local police immediately. Work with law enforcement to protect the victim from the perpetrator and others acting on the perpetrators behalf. Ask your friend if they would like to seek medical care. If the victim requires emergency medical care, call 911 or your installation’s emergency medical care services.
If the victim requires less than emergency care, help them get to a medical provider as soon as possible. Encourage your friend to report the incident to a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) or Victim Advocate (VA); SARCs and VA’s are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at every installation. You may also contact a SARC for information.
Fort Irwin SHARP Hotline: (760) 401-3074
Victim Advocates can inform the victim of the medical, legal and spiritual resources available, both on and off post. They can also help arrange for these services and a sexual assault forensic exam (SAFE) if the victim so desires.
Other than safety and health related questions, try to refrain from asking your friend for details about the incident. Show interest in what the victim says and ask what you can do to help them. Military and Family members (18 or older) have an option about how to report the crime. Unrestricted reports allow the victim to participate in the military criminal justice process. Restricted reports are kept confidential and command and law enforcement are not notified
Note: However, when the victim reports the crime to someone in the chain of command, a restricted report may no longer be an option.
Restricted Report: This option is for victims of sexual assault who wish to confidentially disclose the crime to specifically identified individuals without triggering an official investigation. Report to: SARC/VA, healthcare provider, chaplain, or Special Victim Counsel. Command will not be in-formed of the incident.
Unrestricted Report: This option is for victims of sexual assault who desire an official investigation of crime. Report to: SARC/VA, Healthcare Provider, Chaplain, Special Victim Counsel, Chain of Command, or Law Enforcement.
(Editor’s note: The above article was reprinted from a quarterly newsletter (volume 1, issue 2, dated May 1, 2014) from the NTC Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program.)