Special Victims’ Counsel (SVC) are judge advocates that will zealously represent the interests of the victim throughout the investigatory and military justice processes. The main objective of an SVC is to provide legal representation to individuals eligible for military legal assistance and DHS/CG civilian employees who are victims of an alleged sex-related offense. SVCs empower victims by ensuring that clients understand their rights and options in military justice process so that they can make informed decisions.
SVCs provide independent advice and representation to the victim and report to the Chief, Office of Member Advocacy (CG-LMA). No one in a victim's chain of command or the accused’s chain of command will influence an SVC in providing legal support to a victim.
SVCs establish an attorney-client relationship with clients and communications between an SVC and a client is treated as confidential and privileged.
SVC services are available to:
- Active Duty members
- Reservists (when the offense was committed while on AD or in drilling status or if there is a nexus between the alleged offense and the reservist’s military service)
- Immediate family members (dependents) of Coast Guard members and retirees who are eligible for legal assistance pursuant to COMDTINST 5801.4F, Legal Assistance Program
- DHS/CG civilian employees
Sexual assault victims can contact their local Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) to make a request for an SVC or may contact the Office of Member Advocacy directly. Generally, an SVC will be detailed within 48 hours of receiving a request but can provide services immediately upon request as necessary.
For a non-exclusive list of SVC services, click here. For more information about the SVC Program or to request an SVC or email:
To request an SVC through a SARC, please visit their website for the relevant contact information.
For the definition of restricted versus unrestricted report of sexual assault, please see Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program, https://media.defense.gov/2017/Mar/29/2001723560/-1/-1/0/CIM_1754_10E.PDF
US Coast Guard
2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave
Mail Stop 7213
Washington D.C. 20593-7213