HomeAbout AFDWSexual Assault Information

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response

The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program reinforces the Air Force District of Washington's commitment to eliminate incidents of sexual assault through awareness and prevention training, education, victim advocacy, response, reporting and accountability. AFDW promotes sensitive care and confidential reporting for victims of sexual assault and accountability for those who commit these crimes.

Sexual assault is criminal conduct. It falls well short of the standards America expects of its men and women in uniform. Specifically, it violates Air Force Core Values. Inherent in our core values of Integrity First, Service before Self, and Excellence in All We Do is respect: self-respect, mutual respect and respect for our Air Force as an institution.

Our core values and respect are the foundation of our wingman culture -- a culture in which we look out for each other and take care of each other. Incidents of sexual assault corrode the very fabric of our wingman culture; therefore, we must strive for an environment where this type of behavior is not tolerated and where all Airmen are respected.

Defining Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault is defined as intentional sexual conduct, characterized by use of force, physical threat or abuse of authority or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Sexual assault includes rape, nonconsensual sodomy (oral or anal sex), indecent assault (unwanted, inappropriate sexual contact or fondling), or attempts to commit these acts. Sexual assault can occur without regard to gender or spousal relationship or age of victim.

Consent shall not be deemed or construed to mean the failure by the victim to offer physical resistance. Consent is not given when a person uses force, threat of force, coercion or when the victim is asleep, incapacitated, or unconscious.

Victim Advocates provide resources for immediate and ongoing intervention and support to victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault. This is strictly a voluntary service. Victim advocates ensure availability of 24-hour victim services either through personal or telephonic contact.

Reporting Sexual Assault

Restricted Reporting: Victims of sexual assault who wish to confidentially disclose the crime without triggering an official investigation, must contact either the SARC, Victim Advocate or health care provider. Restricted Reporting is available to active duty military, Coast Guard, Reservist performing federal training and members of the National Guard under Title 10 status. Retired members of any component are not eligible. Dependents are not eligible. Department of Defense civilian employees are not eligible.

Unrestricted Reporting: Victims of sexual assault who want to initiate an official investigation, should use current reporting channels, e.g. OSI, chain of command, law enforcement or the SARC. They may also request their health care provider contact law enforcement.

Independent Reporting: is an assault reported by someone other than the victim.

Bottom Line: Sexual assault is a crime! If you feel you are a victim of sexual assault and want to keep your options open, please contact the SARC at (877) 316-4689. This will ensure your right to decide on restricted or unrestricted reporting. The SARC or their representative is available 24-hours-a-day. The AF Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program is here to assist active duty members through this process.

For additional information, click here.

How to Help

You may experience strong emotional reaction when you learn of a friend or loved one's assault.

  • Remain calm
  • Encourage medical attention
  • Give the victim control
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Let the victim express feelings
  • Believe the victim
  • Encourage counseling
Some common responses to sexual assault are not helpful. These responses can be a part of a natural attempt to gain control over the situation and cope with your own feelings about the assault, but the comments can impact the victim's decision to seek help and/or their recovery. Try to avoid the following:
  • Do not ask what or why questions (examples): "What were you doing out at 3 a.m.?" "Why did you drink so much?"
  • Do not ask for details about what has happened unless you have been properly trained.
  • Do not tell the survivor what to do - they need to feel in control of what is happening to them.
  • Do not gossip about the assault.
  • Only relate details of the event if you have the survivor's permission and are making a referral to someone in a professional capacity.
It is critical that you respect the confidentiality of the victim.

AF Special Victims Councel

The Air Force Special Victims' Counsel provides support to victims of sexual assault through independent representation; builds and sustains victim resiliency; empowers victims; increases the level of legal assistance provided to victims. Sexual assault victims can contact their local Sexual Assault Response Coordinator or Legal Office to make a request for an SVC. The SVC Program Office will detail an SVC within 48 hours (when practicable) of receiving a request.

AFDW SAPR Contacts

AFDW's 24-hour toll free number
(877) 316-4689

Joint Base Andrews, Maryland
Command: AFDW
SARC Phone: (301) 981-7272
DSN: 858-7272

Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, District of Columbia
Command: AFDW
SARC Phone: (202) 767-7272
DSN: 297-7272

Fort George E. Meade, Maryland
Command: Air Force Intelligence Agency
SARC Phone: (240) 752-2733
DSN Number: 685-2733

NCR Hotlines

NCR Crisis Hotlines

PG County Hospital Sexual Assault Center
(301) 618-3154

National HOTLINE
(800) 656-HOPE

Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault
(800) 983-7273