There are several ways to make an initial report of a sexual assault. Depending on whether you choose to make a Restricted or Unrestricted report, you will have reporting options. Under restricted reporting, you can make a report confidentially to a SARC, SAPR VA, chaplain, VLC, and/or healthcare personnel. In unrestricted reporting, you may report to any command personnel, PMO, NCIS, legal, SAPR VA, SARC, Chaplain, or a healthcare provider. To make a report of a sexual assault, the Camp Pendleton 24/7 reporting line is (760) 500-1707
Can I seek support services without reporting?
Yes. Both DoD policy and MCO 1752.5C allow sexual assault victims to make a restricted report. Restricted reporting allows you to obtain the necessary medical, counseling, and mental health services without reporting to law enforcement. ** It is very important to be aware that due to California state law, all civilian medical facilities are required to report to law enforcement agencies all cases of suspected or actual sexual assault. However if reported aboard an installation with an MTF, a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) can be performed without triggering a law enforcement investigation.**
Under restricted reporting can I change my mind about not reporting to authorities?
Yes. Restricted reporting is a tool to assist you, as a victim of sexual assault, in addressing the myriad of emotions surrounding a sexual assault. The Marine Corps’ goal is to hold all perpetrators of sexual assault accountable. However, the Corps realizes that you may not be able to immediately face the challenges that come along with reporting to authorities. Therefore, you may choose to make a restricted report initially but may change your mind when and if you choose to make an unrestricted report.
Is confidentiality absolute?
No. In those instances where you or another person’s safety is in imminent danger, confidentiality is deemed waived. There are several other exceptions to confidentiality, which your SAPR VA will explain in more detail.
Do I have to use base services?
No. A SAPR VA can provide referral information for off base services. Please contact one of them for further details.
If I choose not to use installation services will I be responsible for any costs associated with civilian resources?
Maybe. All civilian medical services must be coordinated with Tricare except for medical emergencies. Tricare or a medical treatment facility should be contacted beforehand to ensure coverage of the services.
What should I expect? Why don’t I feel like myself? How will I feel?
Sexual assault affects different people in different ways. The way a person feels can differ from day-to-day and from person-to-person. Some days you may cope, others you may not be able to get on with your day-to-day activities. A memory, sight, sound, smell, or event could start bad feelings. It is important to remember that you are reacting normally to an abnormal situation. It may take time and support to get back to feeling settled. You may be aware of what happened, but feel numb. This is a common initial reaction. You may feel that what happened is remote and has nothing to do with you. You may or may not feel the impact immediately, or later.
Over time you could suffer physical symptoms such as lack of appetite, high blood pressure, fatigue, and problems sleeping. Depending on your situation, you may experience a mix of emotions, and these will not occur in any particular order. Some emotions will go away and come back later. These emotions could include emptiness or numbness, fear or anxiety, sadness or depression, guilt, shame or dirtiness, anger or irritability, grief, loss of privacy and control, and panic and confusion. You may feel helpless and deserted, and that no one understands what you are going through. These symptoms or feelings usually go away after some time, but they do create problems for some people. They could affect your ongoing health or relationships. It is important to take care of yourself and to get any support and treatment that you need.
Will I have to go through this alone?
No. You will receive support from a SARC, SAPR VA, chaplain, VLC, and/or healthcare personnel if desired. Depending on the type of reporting, you will receive assistance from the Victim Witness Assistance Program (VWAP), as well as, command, legal, and investigative support.
How will I be treated?
MCO 1752.5C requires that you be treated fairly, with dignity, and with sensitivity.
Will the command keep me safe?
Yes. In unrestricted reporting cases, MCO 1752.5C requires a commander to ensure the physical safety and emotional security of the victim. DoD policy and MCO 1752.5C, provide guidance to commanders to determine if the victim desires/needs a “no contact” order or an MPO (DD Form 2873) to be issued, particularly if the victim and the alleged offender are assigned to the same command, unit, duty location, or living quarters. Question: What if I work with the person who assaulted me, and I want to keep a restricted report, how will the command keep me safe? Answer: One of the limitations of a restricted report is the commander’s ability to protect you due to the commander NOT being informed of the report. The SAPR VA will assist you in the development of a safety plan.
Will reporting impact my career?
No. DoD policy and MCO 1752.5C encourages you as a victim to make an unrestricted report of sexual assault, which would offer you the widest range of services and protection. Should you, as a victim, ever feel you’ve been retaliated against, any forms of reprisal or ostracism due to your reporting of this crime, you may bring up this report to your Chain of Command, Inspector General Office, Victims legal Counsel. Marines and sailors who’ve already EAS’d/EAOS’d who feel they have been retaliated against for reporting a sexual assault or sexual harassment by receiving adverse evaluations or adverse administrative action can petition the Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR) to request removal of such material from their records.
If I seek medical treatment at an MTF will medical personnel maintain my privacy and choice to make a restricted report?
Yes. If reported aboard an installation with an MTF, a restricted report can be filed and a SAFE can be performed without triggering a law enforcement investigation.
How do I handle the reactions and criticism of others when they learn about my sexual assault?
Comments by others may feel like criticism or blaming even though it may not be intended that way. Remind yourself of the fact that you were sexually assaulted against your will – even if you may not be happy with some of your choices. You were taken out of control in the situation. You survived. Yes, your life has changed but you can move forward in spite of the criminal behavior committed against you. Use this as an opportunity to experience your personal strengths.
I heard that a friend of mine reported rape and the command ended up charging her for not telling the truth. Can this happen?
Yes. False statements are a violation of the UCMJ. Question: Do I have to testify when I do not want to? Answer: Maybe. The decision on whether a victim will testify ultimately rests with your commander. The commander will base his/her decision on many important concerns including your mental well-being and desires, as well as maintaining good order and discipline within the unit. Acquiring the services of a VLC would afford you the best options and opportunities for addressing and navigating these challenging legal situations.
When someone else in the command reports the sexual assault that happens to me, even if I don't want him or her to, will I have to participate in the investigation?
No. Per DoD policy and MCO 1752.5C, once the command is made aware of a known, suspected, or alleged sexual assault, it must be reported to the Military Criminal Investigative Organization, and for the Navy and Marine Corps, that is Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS), for investigation. You will have the option to not participate in the criminal investigation by signing a Victim Preference Statement. You will be advised of the decreased likelihood of a successful investigation and prosecution of the perpetrator absent your participation. Even without your participation, the criminal investigation may continue.
Sexual Assault Contact Information
MCB Camp Pendleton
Sexual Assault Response Coordinator
Camp Pendleton Civilian SAPR Victim Advocates
Center for Community Solutions (Rape Crisis Center- Coastal)