Maine National Guard Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program

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Maine National Guard
Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC)
(207) 620-6335
ng.me.mearng.list.j1-sarc@mail.mil

24/7 DoD Safe Helpline
Call: 877-995-5247
Click: www.safehelpline.org
Text: 55-247 inside the U.S. or 001-202-470-5546 outside the U.S.
Follow Us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Maine.SAPR

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Was It Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault occurs without your consent. In general, it is a sexual assault if the attacker uses force, the threat of force or coercion, if you are asleep, incapacitated (due to drugs, alcohol or other foreign substances) or unconscious during the incident.

Sexual assault is a crime. According to the Department of Defense (DoD), the term sexual assault is defined as "intentional sexual contact, characterized by use of force, physical threats, or abuse of authority, or when the victim does not or cannot consent." Sexual assault includes rape, nonconsensual sodomy (oral or anal sex), indecent assault (unwanted, inappropriate sexual contact or fondling) or attempts to commit these acts. Sexual assault can occur without regard to gender, spousal relationship or age of the victim.

What Are My Options?

Restricted Report of Sexual Assault

This reporting option allows you to confidentially disclose the crime to a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), Victim Advocate (VA) or healthcare personnel so that you can receive medical treatment and SAPR services. Additionally, Maine hospitals offer free and anonymous sexual assault forensic exams that can assist with treating injuries from the assault, providing STI prophylaxis and pregnancy prevention. If you file a Restricted Report, law enforcement and your chain-of-command will not be notified, and there will not be an official investigation of the crime (so the person who attacked you will not be questioned or disciplined). If you want to pursue criminal charges, you must file an Unrestricted Report.

Unrestricted Report of Sexual Assault

This reporting option is for victims of sexual assault who desire medical treatment, SAPR services and an official investigation of the crime.

Service members who are sexually assaulted and want to make an Unrestricted Report may report the assault to a SARC, SAPR VA, healthcare personnel, a member of your chain-of-command, law enforcement, legal personnel or a chaplain. Details about the incident will be limited to only those personnel who have a legitimate need to know. With the victim's consent, Maine Hospitals will share identifying information to law enforcement regarding the sexual assault forensic exam.

Your safety is a priority, additional benefits of an Unrestricted Report include requesting an Expedited Transfer for you or the assailant, assistance with gaining a protection order and filing for Victim Compensation Benefits.

Can I Change from Restricted to Unrestricted?

Yes. You may change a Restricted Report to an Unrestricted Report at any time. This may provide personal space and time to consider your options in order to make a more informed decision. Please discuss how to do this with your SARC or SAPR VA.

How Can I Become Part a Part of the Solution?

Service Members interested in becoming a Maine National Guard Sexual Assault Victim Advocate should contact the MENG SARC at the phone number or email provided above for more information.

Be an Active Bystander - Intervention

  • This approach encourages people to identify situations that might lead to a sexual assault and then safely intervene to prevent an assault from occurring.
  • Active Bystander Intervention discourages victim blaming by switching the focus of prevention to what a community of people can do collectively.
  • The approach also allows for a change in cultural expectations by empowering everyone to say or do something when they see inappropriate or harmful behavior.
  • This method of intervention places the responsibility of sexual assault prevention on both men and women.

How to Intervene

  • Recognizing when to intervene. Some people might be concerned that they are being encouraged to place themselves in jeopardy to stop crimes in progress. This is not the case. There are many situations and events that occur prior to a sexual assault that are appropriate for intervention. Active bystander intervention encourages people to watch for those behaviors and situations that appear to be inappropriate, coercive and harassing.
  • Considering whether the situation needs attention. The Department of Defense has chosen to link "duty" with sexual assault prevention. Service members need to understand that it is their moral duty to pay attention to situations that put their friends and co-workers at risk.
  • Deciding if there is a responsibility to act. A great deal of research has been done to understand the conditions that encourage people to get involved. There are situational factors that influence a person's willingness to act. These include the presence of other witnesses, the uncertainty of the situation, the apparent level of danger or risk to the victim, and the setting of the event. Personal characteristics of the bystander also contribute to a decision to act.

Help Someone You Know

When choosing what form of assistance to use, there are a variety of ways to intervene. Some of them are direct, and some of them are less obvious to the perpetrator:

  • Making up an excuse to get him/her out of a potentially dangerous situation.
  • Letting a friend or co-worker know that his or her actions may lead to serious consequences.
  • Never leaving a his/her side, despite the efforts of someone to get him/her alone or away from you.
  • Using a group of friends to remind someone behaving inappropriately that his or her behavior should be respectful.
  • Taking steps to curb someone's use of alcohol before problems occur.
  • Calling the authorities when the situation warrants.

Safety is paramount in active bystander intervention. Usually, intervening in a group is safer than intervening individually. Also, choosing a method of intervention that de-escalates the situation is safer than attempting a confrontation. However, there is no single rule that can account for every situation. Service members must use good judgment and always put safety first.

* Information on Bystander Intervention was provided by the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office from: www.sapr.mil

External Links for More Information
Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault www.mecasa.org
DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office www.sapr.mil/ and www.myduty.mil/
National Guard Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program http://www.nationalguard.mil/Leadership/JointStaff/J1/SAPR.aspx/
Army Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Program www.sexualassault.army.mil
Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program http://www.sexualassaultpreventionresponse.af.mil/index.asp/

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