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U.S. Coast Guard
Special Victims' Counsel Program


4200 Wilson Blvd, Suite 1000
Mail Stop 7100
Arlington, VA 20598-7100

Office: 202.872.6918
Fax: 202.872.6920

Effective 15 July 2013, Coast Guard members who report they are a victim of sexual assault may request that a Coast Guard judge advocate serve as their Special Victims' Counsel (SVC).

SVCs are judge advocates that will represent the interests of the victim throughout the investigatory and military justice processes. Communications between an SVC and a victim will be treated as confidential and privileged.

SVCs report to the Office of Member Advocacy and Legal Assistance and the Deputy Judge Advocate of the Coast Guard. No one in a victim's chain of command or the alleged offender’s chain of command will influence an SVC in providing legal support to a victim.

What can an SVC do for victims of sexual assault?

  • SVCs can help the victim protect their privacy interests.
  • SVCs can inform the victim of the roles and responsibilities of trial counsel, defense counsel, and investigators.
  • Upon approval of funding, SVCs can accompany the victim at any proceedings in connection with the reporting, military investigation, and military prosecution of alleged sex-related offenses.
  • SVCs can inform the victim of the privileges, rights or benefits afforded them
  • SVCs can consult and assist the victim with obtaining available military and veteran benefits
SVC services are available to:
  • Active Duty members
  • Reservist (when the offense was committed while on AD or in drilling status)
  • Immediate family members of Coast Guard members who are eligible for legal assistance pursuant to COMDTINST 5801.4E, Legal Assistance Program
SVC services are available when a victim makes an "unrestricted" report or "restricted" report.
  • Unrestricted reports trigger investigations into the alleged offense. A restricted report is a confidential report. For additional details about restricted and unrestricted reporting, please refer to Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program, COMDTINST M1754.10D

Sexual assault victims can contact their local Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) to make a request for an SVC. Generally, the OSVC will detail an SVC within 48 hours of receiving a request.

SARC contact information:

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Last Modified 2/3/2015