OVC Provider Forum Transcript

Confidentiality for Victims of Military Sexual Trauma
Kristian Hall, Yvonne Viel  -  2016/4/7
What are your best practices for limiting the amount of people who have knowledge of an unrestricted sexual assault report? For example, sometimes we will have to coordinate with a gatekeeper of a system in order to obtain records or coordinate meetings. Most people find "I just need this done and I can't tell you why" an unacceptable answer as justification for a request.
1.  Yvonne Viel
 If a victim makes an unrestricted report the installation commander chairs a monthly case management group that is made up of assigned and trained experts across the areas of responsibility such as legal and law enforcement which allows us to coordinate care and streamline the release of information to only those with a need to know.
2.  Kristian Hall
 I've done my best in my organization to create relationships with the leaders and/or gate keepers of certain programs to keep things confidential. Practice of the policy of "need to know" is always tricky, but we do our best to keep it limited to those who only legitimately have a need to know.
I can't find a sex offenders database for military members. . Any help?
1.  Kristian Hall
 At the current time, there is no specific military sex offender registry. If an offender is convicted of a sexual assault/rape in the military they will have an official Federal conviction and will be required by law to register as a sex offender in the National Sex Offender database. You can also check www.nsopw.gov
Are SHARP resources available to the family members of military personnel?
1.  Kristian Hall
 ON the National Guard side, we would NEVER turn a family member away from providing local/civilian resources and or counseling. However, we do not offer full services via SHARP or document the assault officially. I know that Active Duty and Reserve components do fully assist family members and dependents 18 and older.
2.  Yvonne Viel
 SAPR and SHARP services are available to adult dependents of active duty military members.
I am victim advocate for an organization not associated with the military. Who can I contact if a victim is member of the military who would like to press charges?
1.  Yvonne Viel
 I would also advise to establish a relationship with your local SAPR or SHARP office if you are located next to a military installation. The Safe Helpline can assist with providing you their contact information.
2.  Kristian Hall
 I concur with Yvonne. The DoD SafeHelpline is an excellent resource and will help find all the right resources.
3.  Diane
 Kristian, I was interested in if the offender was also a servicemember, but would be interested in knowing about if the offender were a civilian too.
4.  Kristian Hall
 If the victim is a military member and they would like to press charges, I recommend assisting them with finding their respective military component SARC office as well as contacting LLE where the assault took place.
5.  Yvonne Viel
 The DoD Safe Help Line is a great resource. You can find them at safehelpline.org. They can connect you to the right military agency to support your client.
6.  Kristian Hall
 For clarification: The Victim is a military member and the offender is not?
If a victim of sexual assault contracts an STD will they receive a medical discharge?
1.  Kristian Hall
 NO, a STD/Virus is not a disqualifier for military service. If the person becomes HIV positive, it is a possibility that they could be discharged, most likely the will not, but would most likely be honorably discharged with benefits to assist with said disease/virus. If it is a common treatable STD/Virus, they would be provided medical treatment and care and counseling if needed, but will be retained if the member desires to stay in.
2.  Yvonne Viel
 No, an STD is not a disqualifier for military service.
If I am a junior officer reports an incident involving field grade officer, how will this impact their career?
1.  Kristian Hall
 Yvonne has brought up an excellent point as well. If the junior officer has indeed experienced any negative impact based on filing a report; the military takes all issues of retaliation seriously and should also have it reported as Yvonne mentioned.
2.  Yvonne Viel
 If the member feels they are experiencing negative impact for reporting, they can report these acts of reprisal to their local IG office or the DoD IG office.
3.  Lynne
 Yvonne, Kristian addressed my question. I meant the impact on the junior officer. Sorry for the confusion!
4.  Kristian Hall
 Regardless of rank structure and those involved; the SAPR/SHARP programs have been created to eliminate any such issues of undo biases and "sweeping under the rug" of incidents. If the leadership is committed to these programs, and the incident is reported, there should be no adverse impact on the career of the junior officer.
5.  Yvonne Viel
 Can you clarify, impact the jr officer's career or the field grade officer?
If we are wanting to partner with the local SARCs in our community to help provide resources and ensure good communication, what would be the best way to do so? (As and outsider to the military)
1.  Brooke Musselma
 Ok great, that is very helpful. My fear was that, as a non-military member, it wouldn't be as welcome, but I will definitely reach out. Thank you!
2.  Kristian Hall
 That's great. Reach out to them and use the SafeHelpline to find the POC and contact numbers. Once you build that communication, ask if you can meet, invite the SARCs to any local SART meetings, etc. Build that relationship. I know we, as SARCs, are encouraged to do the same.
3.  Kristian Hall
 Brooke, as previously mentioned in this forum, I recommend the DoD SafeHelpline to find the local/closest military SARC office to you and just start that dialogue. https://www.safehelpline.org/
4.  Yvonne Viel
 I recommend contacting them directly and set up a meeting. Also, if you have a community Sexual Assault Interagency Committee or a Sexual Assault Response Team you can invite your local SARCs and SHARPs to attend. The DoD Safe Helpline will be able to provide you the contact information for your local SARCs/SHARPs.
5.  Brooke Musselma
 We have an AF Base and a National Guard base very close to our office.
What recourse does a victim of sexual harassment have in the military system of justice?
1.  Kristian Hall
 Sexual Harassment both in the Army and DoD take it seriously. The Commander of the complaintant has a number of options to address the harassing behavior, to include military justice.
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