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Melissa Cohen, Program Manager Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps Marine and Family Programs Division Marine Corps Sexual Assault Prevention and Response.

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Presentation on theme: "Melissa Cohen, Program Manager Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps Marine and Family Programs Division Marine Corps Sexual Assault Prevention and Response."— Presentation transcript:

1 Melissa Cohen, Program Manager Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps Marine and Family Programs Division Marine Corps Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program (SAPR) Marine Corps Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program (SAPR)

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3 Characteristics Victims at the highest risk – Ages Offenders are fellow Marines (over 60%) Alcohol is involved Sexual assaults are most likely to occur in the barracks / private residences Male victims are less likely to come forward FY 2010 there were 310 cases of sexual assault

4 Challenges 1. Unreported Sexual Assaults2. Command Climate 3. Creating A Training Message That Impacts Marines 4. Addressing Mental Health Needs of Victims 5. Implementing a multi-disciplinary / comprehensive approach 6. Evidence Collection

5 Un-Reported Sexual Assaults SAPR Behavioral Health Branch Marine Corps

6 Barriers To Reporting Shame / Humiliation Fear: effect on reputation and standing Fear: disbelief by command Fear: retaliation by offender or friends Fear: report would not be confidential Fear: Collateral Misconduct Sexual assault is an under-reported crime

7 Barriers to Reporting Cont. Vast majority of sexual assaults are committed by non-strangers Rarely have physical or medical evidence Rarely have any eye or ear witnesses Frequently complicated by use of alcohol by victim and offender Frequently concurrent collateral misconduct by the victim

8 Barriers to Reporting Cont. Rape myths and misperceptions present obstacles to prosecution Delayed reporting Maintaining confidentiality can be challenging within a unit

9 Reporting Options Unrestricted Restricted –Uniformed Victim Advocate (UVA) –Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) –Health Care Providers (some exceptions)

10 Command Climate

11 Summary – A Change In Mindset Old Mindset No confidentiality Mandatory reporting Offender protection Perpetuating myths Poor victim-care Shame w/ reporting New Mindset 2 Reporting Options Victim-centered Engaged leadership Heightened awareness Less stigma with increased dialogue

12 Mental Health Needs Stress Continuum for Marines Ready Reacting Injured ILL Acute reactions for SA victims Long-term Impact for SA victims

13 Victim Response How the victim experiences the act of sexual assault relates to how the victim reacts afterword The relationship of the offender relates directly to how the victim reacts afterword The way the victims judge their own behavior during the act of sexual assault relates to how they react afterward

14 Integration - Mental Health Needs Substance Abuse Prevention Suicide PreventionFamily Advocacy Program Combat Operational Stress Control Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Common Denominators Alcohol Mental health issues Depression PTSD Anxiety, Sleep and Eating Disorders Impact on the family Previous history of abuse Suicidal ideations Physical ailments Fatigue Headaches

15 Creating a training message that impacts Marines

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17 Multi-disciplinary / Comprehensive Approach to Victim Care

18 Multi-Disciplinary Approach SAPRFAP Law Enforcement MTFVWAP Substance Abuse Chaplains Legal Process Victim of Sexual Assault

19 Evidence Collection Need to increase awareness about evidence collection Victims who receive SANE services are more likely to participate in the criminal justice system than those who do not Strongest predictors of conviction is the victim’s participation in the process

20 New Initiatives Video-Library Revised SAPR Training (annual, Chaplain, Command Team, 24/7 Helpline, etc) 24/7 Helpline / Website Revisions Literature Review – SAPR/Substance Abuse MCO B Credentialing for Victim Advocates / SARCS DSAID UVA Training – Enhance Training Skills

21 Melissa Cohen, Program Manager Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps Marine and Family Programs Division Questions?


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