Recent DoD directives to help prevent sex assault

AP News
Posted: May 15, 2013 6:01 PM

A list of some recent military directives and actions related to the Defense Department's sexual assault prevention program:

ONGOING/FUTURE: The Pentagon is developing policy for responding to victims that will include training and certification standards for special victim investigators.

MARCH 2013: The Pentagon published a revised "sexual assault program" policy that enhances procedures and standardizes sexual assault prevention efforts.

JANUARY 2013: The Pentagon published a new policy on sexual assault investigation standards. It requires that all sexual assault investigations be conducted by independent and professional military criminal investigative groups.

JANUARY 2013: Air Force launched a pilot "special victim counsel" program to provide sexual assault victims with legal representation during all phases of investigation, prosecution and victim recovery.

FALL 2012: The military services launched a wide range of enhanced interactive training programs for military members that emphasize the importance of bystander intervention. The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office also expanded outreach with experts from advocacy, legal, educational and other groups to gain feedback and share best practices.

APRIL 2012: Sexual assault questions were added to the Pentagon "command climate surveys," in which service members evaluate the conditions they work under and their commanders. Policy implemented to conduct assessments within 120 days for new commanders and annually after that.

DECEMBER 2011: Expedited transfer policy was implemented for victims making transfer requests.

SEPTEMBER 2011: Sexual assault forensic exam kit is revised to improve victim care and align evidence collection with national standards.

APRIL 2011: Pentagon launches "safe helpline" to give victims 24/7 global access to crisis support staff.