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Coast Guard Says It’s Committed to Ensuring Alleged Sexual Offenders are Protected

In an ALCOAST released by Rear Admiral Mark Tedesco, on Sexual Assault Awareness Month, he says that the Coast Guard is committed to ensuring that victims and alleged offenders of sexual assault are protected, treated with dignity and provided support.

ALCOAST 168/10

COMDTNOTE 1754

SUBJ: SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH (SAAM)

A. SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION AND RESPONSE PROGRAM, COMDTINST

1754.10 (SERIES)

B. COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC R 101947Z APR 09/ALCOAST 209/09

1. SEXUAL ASSAULT IS A CRIME THAT IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH MILITARY

SERVICE AND THE COAST GUARD (CG) CORE VALUES OF HONOR, RESPECT, AND

DEVOTION TO DUTY. THE CG HAS JOINED THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD)

AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS ACROSS THE NATION TO OBSERVE SEXUAL ASSAULT

AWARENESS MONTH (SAAM) IN APRIL.

2. THIS YEARS THEME IS "HURTS ONE, AFFECTS ALL." THE THEME FOCUSES

ON THE MILITARYS MISSION READINESS. AS IS READILY UNDERSTOOD

THROUGHOUT THE MILITARY, MISSION READINESS DEFINES A UNITS ABILITY

TO DEPLOY QUICKLY AND EFFICIENTLY. A SEXUAL ASSAULT CAN REVERBERATE

THROUGHOUT A UNIT AND BEYOND, DEGRADING READINESS BY HARMING THE

LIFE OF A VICTIM AND THE MILITARYS ABILITY TO WORK EFFECTIVELY AS A

TEAM.

3. THE "HURTS ONE, AFFECTS ALL" THEME NOT ONLY CONVEYS THAT SEXUAL

ASSAULT AFFECTS THE VICTIM, BUT THAT IT ALSO AFFECTS BYSTANDERS,

COWORKERS, FAMILIES AND FRIENDS. PRESERVING MISSION READINESS CAN

SERVE, THEREFORE, AS MOTIVATION FOR BYSTANDER INTERVENTION.

4. SEXUAL ASSAULT IS THE MOST UNDER-REPORTED CRIME IN OUR SOCIETY

AND IN THE MILITARY. THE CG RECOGNIZES THAT SOME VICTIMS FORGO

MEDICAL AND SUPPORT SERVICES TO AVOID COMMAND OR LAW ENFORCEMENT

INVOLVEMENT. TO ADDRESS THESE CONCERNS, THE CG REVISED REF A IN

DECEMBER 2007 TO PROVIDE A RESTRICTED REPORTING OPTION FOR SEXUAL

ASSAULT. THIS OPTION ALLOWS VICTIMS TO RECEIVE MEDICAL TREATMENT

AND SUPPORT WITHOUT TRIGGERING COMMAND INVOLVEMENT OR INITIATING

A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION. THIS REPORTING OPTIONS ALSO PROVIDES

VICTIMS ADDITIONAL TIME TO CONSIDER THEIR OPTIONS AND SEEK GUIDANCE

WHILE STILL RECEIVING IMPORTANT TREATMENT SERVICES AS THEY WORK

THROUGH THE TRAUMATIC IMPACT OF SEXUAL ASSAULT.

5. REFS A AND B CONTAIN SPECIFIC GUIDANCE ON WHO TO CONSULT AND

REPORT SEXUAL ASSAULTS TO. IT IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE ACT

AS GUARDIANS AND REPORT ANY SEXUAL ASSAULT TO PROPER AUTHORITIES IN

AN ATTEMPT TO BREAK THE SEXUAL PREDATORS CHAIN OF VICTIMS. IF YOU

HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED, ENSURE THAT THE FOLLOWING STEPS ARE

TAKEN:

A. GO SOMEWHERE SAFE. PHONE THE POLICE IF YOU ARE IN DANGER.

B. GET MEDICAL CARE IF NEEDED. INJURIES CAN BE TREATED AND MEDICAL

PROVIDERS CAN ALSO OFFER MEDICATION TO PROTECT YOU FROM SEXUALLY

TRANSMITTED DISEASES AND PREVENT PREGNANCY. IT IS IMPORTANT TO GET

TREATMENT WITHIN 72 HOURS.

C. KNOW THAT THE CRIME PERPETRATED AGAINST YOU IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

THE PERSON WHO DID THIS TO YOU COMMITTED A CRIMINAL ACT AND IS AT

FAULT.

D. CONSIDER REPORTING THE ASSAULT TO THE POLICE OR CG

INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES (CGIS) IN AN ATTEMPT TO BREAK THE SEXUAL

PREDATORS CHAIN OF VICTIMS. HOWEVER, IF YOU ARE ON ACTIVE DUTY (OR

A SPOUSE SEXUALLY ASSAULTED BY ACTIVE DUTY SPOUSE) YOU MAY ALSO

HAVE THE OPTION OF CONFIDENTIALLY REPORTING THE ASSAULT WITHOUT

TRIGGERING A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION AND COMMAND NOTIFICATION. WITH

THE COAST GUARDS RESTRICTED REPORTING OPTION YOU ARE STILL ELIGIBLE

FOR THE MEDICAL AND COUNSELING SERVICES YOU MAY WANT OR NEED. TO

REQUEST RESTRICTED REPORTING DISCLOSE THE ASSAULT ONLY TO THE

NEAREST CG OR DOD HEALTH CARE PROVIDER (HCP), THE EMPLOYEE

ASSISTANCE PROGRAM COORDINATOR (EAPC) OR A FAMILY ADVOCACY

SPECIALIST (FAS) AT THE NEAREST HEALTH, SAFETY AND WORK-LIFE

OFFICE, OR ANY CG VICTIM ADVOCATE (VA).

E. CONSIDER SAVING EVIDENCE IN ORDER TO PURSUE CRIMINAL CHARGES.

EVIDENCE OF A SEXUAL ASSAULT IS BEST COLLECTED WITHIN 72 HOURS AS

IT USUALLY DETERIORATES RAPIDLY. DO NOT WASH, BATHE, EAT, DRINK OR

CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES UNTIL YOU HAVE BEEN EXAMINED BY A MEDICAL

PROVIDER (E.G., HCP). FORENSIC EVIDENCE COLLECTION IS AVAILABLE

WITH EITHER UNRESTRICTED OR RESTRICTED REPORTING. THE LOCAL EAPC,

FAS, VA OR MEDICAL FACILITY CAN ASSIST YOU.

F. REACH OUT FOR HELP. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS ALONE.

THE TIME AFTER A SEXUAL ASSAULT MAY BE CONFUSING AND DECISIONS MAY

BE DIFFICULT. THE CG SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION AND RESPONSE PROGRAM

IS DESIGNED TO HELP YOU. AN EAPC, FAS, VA OR CHAPLAIN CAN ASSIST

YOU.

6. CG UNITS SHOULD USE THIS SAAM OPPORTUNITY TO PROMOTE SEXUAL

ASSAULT PREVENTION AND RESPONSE EDUCATION. SAAM RESOURCES AND

INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT WWW.SAPR.MIL. ONCE AT THIS SITE, CLICK

ON THE LINK FOR SAAM 2010 MATERIALS. OTHER SEXUAL ASSAULT

INFORMATION IS LOCATED AT WWW.USCG.MIL/WORKLIFE UNDER THE "SEXUAL

ASSAULT" ICON.

7. THE CG IS COMMITTED TO ENSURING THAT VICTIMS AND ALLEGED

OFFENDERS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT ARE PROTECTED, TREATED WITH DIGNITY AND

PROVIDED ONGOING SUPPORT. THE CG IS ALSO COMMITTED TO ENSURING THAT

PERSONS WHO COMMIT CRIMES ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE. COMMANDING OFFICERS

AND OFFICERS-IN-CHARGE SHALL ENSURE THAT THE POLICIES WITHIN REF A

ARE CLEARLY COMMUNICATED TO THEIR PERSONNEL.

8. POC: SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION AND RESPONSE PROGRAM MANAGER, MS.

SHAWN WREN AT (202) 475-5163, OR EMAIL: SHAWN.M.WREN(AT)USCG.MIL.

9. RADM MARK TEDESCO, DIRECTOR OF HEALTH, SAFETY AND WORK-LIFE

SENDS."


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