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Health, Safety & Work-Life Directorate

Office of Work-Life Programs - Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program (SAPR)

Glossary of Terms

Sexual Assault. “Sexual assault” is defined as intentional sexual contact, characterized by use of force, threats, intimidation, abuse of authority, or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Sexual assault includes rape, forcible sodomy, and other unwanted indecent contact (e.g., kissing against another person’s will) that is aggravated, abusive, or wrongful (to include unwanted and inappropriate sexual contact), or attempts to commit these acts. “Consent” means words or overt acts indicating a freely given agreement to the sexual conduct at issue by a competent person. An expression of refusal or lack of consent through words or conduct means there is no consent (i.e., “No Means No”). Lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission resulting from the accused’s use of force, threat of force, or placing another person in fear does not constitute consent. The victim’s lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission resulting from intoxication, from unconsciousness due to sleep or alcohol consumption, or from any other conditions which renders the person substantially incapacitated or substantially incapable of understanding the nature of the sexual act, declining participation in the act, or communicating unwillingness to engage in the sexual act does not constitute consent. A current or previous dating relationship shall not constitute consent. The manner of dress of the victim shall not constitute consent. (Note: These definitions are intended to be general descriptions used for training and educational purposes. Specific definitions of the elements of the sexual assault, sexual contact, and forcible sodomy offenses are found in Articles 120 and 125, UCMJ through the links below.)

UCMJ, Article 120.
http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/MCM-2012.pdf (see page 352)

UCMJ, Article 125.
http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/MCM-2012.pdf (see page 368)

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of employment; submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions; such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment; and this definition also encompasses unwelcome display or communication of sexually offensive materials. Specific definitions of the elements of the sexual assault, sexual contact, and forcible sodomy offenses are found in Articles 120 and 125, UCMJ.

Bystander Intervention: Bystander Intervention is a strategy that motivates and mobilizes people to act when they see, hear, or otherwise recognize signs of an inappropriate or unsafe situation, to act and prevent harm. An active bystander is someone who helps prevent violence or gets involved when violence occurs. Active bystanders intervene to: (1) help someone who may be a target for sexual assault, or (2) prevent someone from becoming a perpetrator of sexual assault.

Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC): Coast Guard personnel, military or civilian employee, who is trained to ensure appropriate care is coordinated and provided to victims of sexual assault; in addition, tracks the services provided to a victim of sexual assault from the initial report through final disposition and resolution. If a dedicated SARC is not co-located (see note), serves as the central point of contact at the Command or within a geographic area to conduct all sexual assault awareness, prevention and response training. SARCs also train and oversee all Victim Advocates (VA) within their areas of responsibility. Note: SARCs are typically the EAPC in the cognizant Work-Life Regional Practice Office; Family Advocacy Specialist (FAS) are the backup SARCs.

Restricted Reporting: The Restricted Reporting option may be used by a service member or civilian spouse sexually assaulted by their active duty service member spouse to disclose to specific individuals on a confidential basis that he or she is the victim of a sexual assault. If the assault has been disclosed to ONLY a SARC, VA, or HCP, it shall not be reported to the chain of command or law enforcement, unless the victim consents or an established exception is exercised under COMDTINST M1754.10 (series).

Unrestricted Reporting: The Unrestricted Reporting option may be used by the service member to disclose to his or her chain of command that he or she is the victim of a sexual assault. “Service member” is defined as Coast Guard active duty members and Coast Guard reserve members on active duty or in a drill status, unless otherwise noted. Under the Unrestricted Reporting option, the victim’s report to command authorities or to a SARC, VA, HCP, or anyone else, shall be reported to CGIS.
Victim Advocate (VA): A trained advocate for the victim; a person who can provide emotional support to the victim during interviews, medical procedures, and legal proceedings. The VA may be present, but is not to participate (e.g., prompting the victim) during the interview process. In coordination with the EAPC/SARC, the VA may provide liaison assistance with other organizations/agencies on victim care matters. VAs report directly to the SARC when performing VA duties. Under certain conditions, VAs may be required to testify at a judicial proceeding but do not maintain any type of records or files.

Victim: A victim is a person who alleges direct harm as a result of the commission of a sexual assault. It is important to note that the term “victim” is subjective and must be carefully used, especially to the victims themselves. There comes a point in the recovery of a victim where they may refer to themselves as “survivors.”

Victim Advocate (VA): An advocate for the victim; a person who can provide emotional support to the victim during interviews, medical procedures and legal proceedings. The advocate may be present, but is not to participate (e.g., prompting the victim) during the interview process. In coordination with the EAPC/SARC, the advocate may provide liaison assistance with other organizations/agencies on victim care matters. VAs report directly to the EAPC/SARC when performing victim advocacy duties. VAs may be required to testify at a judicial proceeding but do not maintain any type of records or files.

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Last Modified 6/12/2014