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Restricted vs. Unrestricted Reports – Know Your Options

When a victim of sexual assault decides to report, it's important to understand the options available. Knowing the difference between Restricted and Unrestricted Reporting will help you avoid issues down the road. Let's take a closer look.

Who does the SAPR Program cover?

The SAPR Program will continue to provide services to all adult sexual assault victims who are non-intimate partners and to adults of sexual assault who are unmarried intimate partners when they are not: a current or former spouse, share a child in common, currently or previously shared a domicile, and when domestic abuse is present. If the victim falls under one the categories (spouse/child/domicile/domestic abuse) the victim will be referred to Family Advocacy Program (FAP).

Knowing Your Options

Service members and military dependents (18 years and older) have two options when it comes to reporting sexual assault: Unrestricted or Restricted Reporting. The victim will need to fill out a DD Form 2910 with assistance from a Sexual Assault Prevention & Response (SAPR) Victim Advocate (VA), or Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC).

Unrestricted Reporting – is recommended for victims who desire al law enforcement investigation, enlists the support of the chain of command, and provides a victim with access to ALL supportive service options:

  • Advocacy Services (support, information, referral, and accompaniment)
  • Medical/Counseling Services
  • Victims' Legal Counsel
  • Military Protective Order
  • Civilian Protective Order
  • Expedited Transfer
  • CATCH Program when the name of suspect is not known by law enforcement

For an Unrestricted Report - Victims can disclose a sexual assault to the following people:

  •  SAPR  Victim Advocate 
  • Sexual Assault Response Coordinator
  • Healthcare Personnel
  • Chaplain
  • Victims' Legal Counsel
  • Chain of Command
  • Law Enforcement 

With Unrestricted Report, knowledge of the sexual assault is limited to those with an official need-to-know.

In the event of an independent investigation that is initiated by a third party reporting from a source other than the victim. The victims can elect not to participate in the investigation by signing a 540k Victim Preference Letter. The investigation may continue their investigation without the victim’s participation or the MCIO may agree to close the investigation. Speak to your SARC or SAPR VA for further information regarding the 540k Victim Preference Letter.

Restricted Reporting - is available for Service members and their SAPR eligible military dependents 18 years of age or older.  Restricted Reports allows the victim to confidential disclose their sexual assault to certain individuals, does not trigger an investigation or command involvement, and allows the victim to access THESE supportive service options: 

  • Advocacy Services (support, information, referral, and accompaniment)
  • Medical/Counseling Services
  • Victims' Legal Counsel
  • CATCH Program

A victim can choose to convert a Restricted Report to Unrestricted at any time. However, once an Unrestricted Report is made, the Restricted Reporting option is no longer available.

Victims may still elect a Restricted Report if they did not personally report the sexual assault to law enforcement, including MCIOS, and/or did not previously elect to make an Unrestricted Report by signing a DD Form 2910 on the same sexual assault incident.

In the event a victim or third party discloses a Restricted Report to the command, it does not negate the command from the standard notification and reporting responsibilities. The commander will not ask SARC for details nor will they speak to the victim about the incident.   

For a Restricted Report - ** Some state and local laws require healthcare personnel to disclose sexual assault incidents to law enforcement. NDAA FY 16 Section 536 preempts mandatory reporting laws if the victim reports to an MTF first, thereby preserving the Restricted Reporting option. Your SAPR VA can help you navigate your state and local laws.


The following individuals are eligible to report a retaliation in nexus to an Unrestricted Report to a SARC or SAPR VA via a signed DD Form 2910-2:

  • Victims with an Unrestricted Report
  • Adult sexual assault victim’s adult family members
  • Witnesses/Bystanders/1st Responders to include SARC and SAPR VAs
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