Military Reporting Options FAQ

How do I know if it was a sexual assault?

Sexual assault is sexual contact that 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. In these cases, it may be a sexual assault even if you did not physically resist the assailant.

If you believe you have experienced a sexual assault you can talk to someone anonymously online or by phone at 877-995-5247. Trained staff are there to listen 24/7 and can talk through the options and resources available to you.

  • How do I know if what happened was a crime?
    • 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 or spousal relationship or age of victim.
  • If you have experienced a sexual assault you can talk to someone anonymously online or by phone at 877-995-5247. Trained staff are there to listen 24/7 and can talk through the options and resources available to you.

Reporting Options

What are my reporting options if I am an active duty service member?

Restricted Reporting:

What is Restricted Reporting?

To whom can I make a Restricted Report?

Who will know I made a Restricted Report?

What if I have already told others about what happened?

Can I get medical treatment if I make a Restricted Report?

If I go to a medical treatment facility, will I be required to have a forensic examination conducted?

What happens to my report?

Can I later change my Restricted Report to an Unrestricted Report?

Will a Restricted Report appear in my military medical records?

If I want to seek counseling relating to my assault following my discharge will I be able to access services?


Unrestricted Reporting:

What is Unrestricted Reporting?

How do I make an Unrestricted Report?

Who will know I made an Unrestricted Report?

What happens when I make an Unrestricted Report?

Will I be required to have a SAFE conducted?

Will an Unrestricted Report appear in my military medical records?

When I make an Unrestricted Report, what can I expect from the legal process?

What are my rights as a victim of crime?

Will I be expected to continue working with my assailant?


Reporting Options for the National Guard and Reserve Members:

Can I make a Restricted or Unrestricted Report?

Can I make a Restricted Report?


Reporting Options for Non-Service Members:

How do I report a sexual assault if I am not a military member?


To learn more about your options you can also contact the Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline, online or by phone, at 1-877-995-5247.