Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Program - Definition Email This Story Print This Story

The Army Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Program reinforces the Army's commitment to eliminate incidents of sexual assault through a comprehensive policy that focuses on;

  • education,
  • prevention,
  • integrated victim support,
  • rapid reporting,
  • thorough investigation,
  • appropriate action,
  • and follow-up.

Army policy promotes sensitive care for victims of sexual assault and accountability for those who commit these crimes.

The Army is committed to supporting and caring for victims of sexual assault and to ensuring that victims and offenders are treated according to Army policy.

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Sexual Assault is a crime. Sexual assault is defined as intentional sexual contact, characterized by use of force, physical threat 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.

"Consent" shall not be deemed or construed to mean the failure by the victim to offer physical resistance. Consent is not given when a person uses force, threat of force, coercion or when the victim is asleep, incapacitated, or unconscious.

Other sex-related offenses are defined as all other sexual acts or acts in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice that do not meet the above definition of sexual assault, or the definition of sexual harassment as promulgated in DoD Directive 1350.2, Department of Defense Military Equal Opportunity. Examples of other sex-related offenses could include indecent acts with another and adultery.

For the specific articles of sexual assault offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), see the Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM).

Sexual assault and sexual harassment

Sexual assault and sexual harassment are not the same, although they are related to each other.

  • Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination that involves unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. For more information on sexual harassment, see Army Regulation 600-20, Chapter 7.(14 kb)
    There are two types of sexual harassment:
    • Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment refers to conditions placed on a person's career or terms of employment in return for sexual favors. It involves threats of adverse actions if the victim does not submit or promises of favorable actions if the person does submit
    • Hostile Environment sexual harassment occurs when a person is subjected to offensive, unwanted, and unsolicited comments and behavior of a sexual nature that have the interferes with that person's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
  • Sexual assault refers specifically to rape, forcible sodomy, indecent assault, or carnal knowledge as defined by the UCMJ.
  • Sexual assault must involve physical contact. While sexual harassment can involve physical contact, it can also refer to verbal or other forms of gender discrimination of a sexual nature. Sexual assault is a crime punishable by the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Download the entire Army Regulation 600-20.(278 kb)

Neither sexual assault nor sexual harassment has a place in our Army.

  • Sexual assault and sexual harassment can victimize males as well as females and can occur at any time.
  • Both sexual assault and sexual harassment detract from a positive unit climate and can have detrimental effects on individual growth and teamwork. Teamwork is vital to combat readiness.
  • Both sexual assault and sexual harassment are incompatible with Army Values.
  • Both sexual assault and sexual harassment are incompatible with the Warrior Ethos.

The Army policy on sexual assault is as follows:

  • Sexual assault is a criminal offense that has no place in the Army. It degrades mission readiness by devastating the Army's ability to work effectively as a team
  • Sexual assault is incompatible with Army Values and the Warrior Ethos and is punishable under the Uniform Codes of Military Justice (UCMJ) and other federal and local civilian laws
  • The Army will use training, education, and awareness to -
    • Prevent sexual assault
    • Promote the sensitive handling of victims of sexual assault
    • Offer confidential counseling
    • Hold those who commit sexual assault offenses accountable
    • Reinforce a commitment to Army Values
  • The Army will treat all victims of sexual assault with dignity, fairness, and respect
  • The Army will treat every sexual assault incident seriously, thoroughly investigate the incident, and hold those who commit offenses accountable.

Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Program - Definition

Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Program - Prevention

Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Program - Acquaintance Rape

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