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Sexual Trauma

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sexual violence, or trauma, is a significant problem in the United States. Sexual violence refers to sexual activity when consent is not obtained or not given freely. Anyone can experience it, but most victims are female. The person responsible for the violence is typically male and usually someone known to the victim.

The person can be, but is not limited to, a friend, intimate partner, coworker, neighbor, or family member.

Sexual Assault Prevention

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According to the Department of Defense (DOD) Directive 6495.01, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program, sexual assault is defined as intentional sexual contact, characterized by use of force, threats, intimidation, abuse of authority, or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Sexual assault can occur without regard to gender or spousal relationship or age of victim.

Programs and Resources

A Message from Lt. Gen. Ron Place, Defense Health Agency Director

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SAFE Option Provides Care for Victims of Sexual Violence

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(From left) Evangeline Barefoot, Blanchfield Army Community Hospital Forensic Healthcare program manager shows Dr. Cynthia Tara Ferguson, Defense Health Agency Forensic Healthcare program director, protocols BACH follows for patients who come to the hospital after experiencing sexual violence. Barefoot said some victims may avoid medical treatment because they don’t want to report an assault, however seeking medical treatment does not obligate a service member to file an investigation or notify their command. (Photo: Maria Christina Yager)

A special medical exam, called a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination, SAFE, is available to survivors of sexual violence preserves lasting evidence that may aid in the prosecution of a perpetrator of sexual assault.

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Resources and support for survivors of sexual assault and military trauma.

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Last Updated: April 27, 2022

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