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IMPROVEMENTS TO VICTIM RESPONSE


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CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED// 
ROUTINE 
R 141945Z DEC 22 MID200080592760U 
FM SECNAV WASHINGTON DC 
TO ALNAV 
INFO SECNAV WASHINGTON DC 
CNO WASHINGTON DC 
CMC WASHINGTON DC 
BT 
UNCLAS 
 
ALNAV 084/22 
 
MSGID/GENADMIN/SECNAV WASHINGTON DC/-/DEC// 
 
SUBJ/IMPROVEMENTS TO VICTIM RESPONSE// 
 
REF/A/MSG/ALNAV 024/22/22APR22// 
REF/B/LTR/SECNAV MEMO/24JUN22// 
REF/C/LTR/SECNAV MEMO/29JUN22// 
REF/D/DOC/SECNAVINST/15AUG22// 
REF/E/DOC/DEPSECDEF MEMO/11NOV21// 
REF/F/INST/DODI 1327.06/15JAN21// 
 
NARR/REF A IS AN ALL NAVY INTERIM POLICY MESSAGE GOVERNING INVESTIGATION OF 
FORMAL SEXUAL HARASSMENT COMPLAINTS UNDER 10 U.S.C. 1561.   
REF B IS SECNAV MEMO, NO WRONG DOOR POLICY.   
REF C IS SECNAV MEMO, SAFE TO REPORT POLICY.   
REF D IS SECNAVINST 1610.3, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY POLICY ON HARASSMENT 
PREVENTION AND RESPONSE.   
REF E IS DEPSECDEF MEMO, UPDATES TO DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE POLICY 
AND PROCEDURES FOR THE SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION AND RESPONSE PROGRAM AND 
ADULT SEXUAL ASSAULT INVESTIGATIONS.   
REF F IS DODI 1327.06, LEAVE AND LIBERTY POLICY AND PROCEDURES.// 
 
RMKS/1.  An engaged force at all levels is our greatest instrument in 
violence prevention.  Every Sailor, Marine, and civilian is responsible for 
cultivating a climate of dignity and respect throughout the Department of the 
Navy (DON).  By failing to uphold these principles, we allow, enable, and 
cannot effectively stop interpersonal violence such as sexual assault, sexual 
harassment, and domestic abuse. 
 
2.  Last year, the Department of Defense provided the Services with a set of 
comprehensive and actionable recommendations to improve our approach to 
sexual assault and sexual harassment across four lines of effort: 
accountability, prevention, climate and culture, and victim care and support. 
 
3.  As the DON works toward full implementation of these recommendations, we 
are committed to rebuilding trust and improving victim response by removing 
barriers to reporting and accessing resources.  To this end, we implemented 
several new policies this year. 
 
4.  Reference (a) improves response to formal reports of sexual harassment 
and requires an investigating officer to come from outside the command of the 
victim and the subject. 
 
5.  Reference (b) ensures victims of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and 
domestic abuse receive the care and support they need - without delay.  A 
victim who contacts a helping professional from any DON victim care and 
support office must either receive services from that office or, with the 
victim's permission, get a "warm hand-off" to the appropriate service 
provider.  This warm hand-off will include direct connection, introduction to 
the responsible staff, and follow-through to ensure the needs of the person 
seeking care are met. 
 
6.  Reference (c) eliminated a critical barrier to Service Members' reporting 
of sexual assault.  A Sailor, Marine, cadet, or midshipman who makes an 
unrestricted report of sexual assault through the Sexual Assault Prevention 
and Response Office or the Family Advocacy Program will not be disciplined 
for minor collateral misconduct. 
 
7.  Reference (d) was expanded to define cyberharassment and distinguishes 
harassing behaviors, including those of sexual nature, that occur online. 
Cyberharassment is defined as:  a form of harassment or sexual harassment 
occurring through or facilitated by an electronic communications system.  As 
used herein, electronic communication systems include internet enabled 
devices, online spaces and platforms, computers, mobile devices, cameras and 
imaging platforms, applications, location tracking devices, smart devices, 
communication technologies, and other emerging technologies.  Cyberharassment 
may include, but is not limited to, threatening, derogatory, or harassing 
text or email messages, instant messages, social media comments, blog 
entries, or similar communications.  The broadcast or public sharing via an 
electronic communications system of non-publicly available information about 
an individual, also referred to as doxing, can be a form of cyberharassment. 
 
8.  Another critical update to victim response was included in reference (e), 
effective November 11, 2021.  This policy ensures sexual assault victims can 
file restricted reports even if:  they disclosed the sexual assault incident 
to their commander or to personnel in the chain of command; there is an 
ongoing military criminal investigative organization (e.g. NCIS, CID, etc.) 
investigation into the sexual assault incident initiated by a third party and 
not due to the victim's disclosure to law enforcement; or a military criminal 
investigative organization investigation into the sexual assault incident has 
been closed.  Victims should work with their local Sexual Assault Response 
Coordinator, Sexual Assault Prevention Response Victim Advocate, and/or the 
Victim's Legal Counsel to get the support they need through this process. 
 
9.  I also remind leaders at all levels they should allow Service Members 
sufficient time to access the care they need with the intent to allow healing 
and recovery from the trauma of sexual assault.  Per reference (f), 
commanders and military treatment facility directors may grant convalescent 
leave (non-chargeable) to Service Members for their treatment and 
recuperation from sexual assault based on a recommendation of a medical or 
mental healthcare provider or sexual assault medical forensic examiner. 
 
10.  Any active duty and reserve Service Members who have experienced sexual 
assault, sexual harassment, or were deployed overseas to hostile fire pay 
zones are also eligible to receive confidential services from the Department 
of Veterans Affairs (VA) without a TRICARE referral at VA Vet Centers.  More 
information on Military Sexual Trauma resources available can be found at 
https://mentalhealth.va.gov/msthome/index.asp.
 
11.  Sexual Assault Response Coordinators and Victim Advocates can also 
assist civilian employees in navigating resources available to them through 
military or civilian channels such as the Employee Assistance Program. 
 
12.  I want to ensure that victims and survivors of sexual assault, sexual 
harassment, and domestic abuse receive the right care and quality services 
they deserve with minimal delay.  The DON is committed to the well-being of 
victims and survivors, from report to referral, from initial appointment 
through continuing care.  I expect leaders at all levels to embrace reform 
and stop destructive behaviors at onset by holding each other to the 
standards we expect and modeling that example. 
 
13.  For more information on the resources available in response to sexual 
harassment, sexual assault, or domestic abuse, please contact your local 
Military Equal Opportunity Program, Sexual Assault Response 
Coordinator/Victim Advocate, or Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate. 
 
14. Released by the Honorable Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the Navy.// 
 
BT 
#0001 
NNNN 
CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED//

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