3 FAM 1700
3 FAM 1710
SEXUAL ASSAULTS INVOLVING CHIEF OF MISSION PERSONNEL AND FACILITIES oUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES
(Office of Origin: HR/ER)
3 FAM 1711 GENERAL PROVISIONS
3 FAM 1711.1 Introduction
a. Sexual assault has a traumatizing impact on individuals who are assaulted and a corrosive effect on the workplace. The Department of State is determined to do all it can to prevent sexual assault from being committed by, or against, its personnel. If such an act should occur, the Department will support those who have been assaulted and take whatever action it can to bring the perpetrators to justice. The Department of State is committed to effectively and sensitively responding to foreign affairs community members who have been sexually assaulted, ensuring that they are treated with care and respect. The policies and procedures in this FAM section define the Department’s goal of effectively preventing and addressing sexual assault and the actions it will take in response to allegations of sexual assault. Please note: The language used in the FAM, by necessity, must be technical, comport with and relate to relevant laws, and be administratively sound. That said, the legal terminology, including the term victim, contained herein should not eclipse the compassion and urgency that underlie the Department’s commitment to this issue.
b. Anyone who has been sexually assaulted is advised to, if possible, given the circumstances:
(1) Go to a safe place away from the perpetrator.
(2) Reach out for help from a healthcare provider:
(a) Emergency medical services are available at post from the Health Units. Health Unit duty personnel may be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
(b) If an employee or member of the Department community who has been sexually assaulted does not want to contact the Health Unit at post, he or she may also report the incident directly to the Washington DC-based Bureau of Medical Services (MED) Duty Officer at 202-262-9013, or through the Operations Center at 202-647-1512, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Victims may also contact Employee Consultation Services (ECS) by email: MEDECS@state.gov or by phone at 703-812-2257.
(3) Reach out for help from law enforcement:
Regional Security Officers (RSOs) are the law enforcement first responders at post. If a victim overseas wants to report a sexual assault to law enforcement authorities, but prefers not to report it at post, he or she can contact Diplomatic Security’s Office of Special Investigations (DS/DO/OSI), via telephone at 571-345-3146 or via email at DS-OSIDutyAgent@state.gov. The DS/DO/OSI duty agents are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can investigate an allegation independent of post management. OSI can also provide information about the Victims’ Resource Advocacy Program (3 FAM 1715.5).
(4) Preserve all evidence of the assault:
(a) Refrain from washing hands, bathing, brushing teeth, eating, laundering clothes or smoking until contact can be made with medical or law enforcement first responders.
(b) If still at the location of the assault, refrain from cleaning or straightening up or removing anything from the surroundings.
3 FAM 1711.2 Definitions
Sexual Assault: Any type of sexual contact that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.
Sexual Contact: The intentional touching, or the forcing of another to touch, either directly or through the clothing, the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person.
Sexual Harassment: Harassment is a broad term that refers to unwelcome behavior tied to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) categories. Sexual harassment is harassment based on sex (gender) or that is sexual in nature. Sexual assault is a form of sexual harassment. See, e.g., 3 FAM 1525.1. Pursuant to 3 FAM 1525, the Office of Civil Rights (S/OCR) is designated as the primary Department entity to address allegations of sexual harassment. S/OCR refers allegations of sexual assault and other possible crimes to DS/DO/OSI.
Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit (SAEC Kit): A commercially produced Kit, chosen with the approval of DS/DO/OSI and MED, which allows a medical provider to document and collect evidence of an alleged sexual assault. The SAEC Kit includes tools and equipment to allow for the collection of trace and biological evidence as well as paperwork for documenting physical findings during a sexual assault examination. See also 3 FAM 1714.3.
3 FAM 1711.3 Applicability
a. This policy applies to all of the following categories:
(1) All Department employees;
(2) Persons under personal-service contracts (PSCs) or personal-service agreements (PSAs);
(3) All other persons under Chief of Mission (COM) authority abroad and accompanying eligible family members;
(4) A sexual assault on any person that occurs on premises of U.S. diplomatic, consular, or other U.S. government missions or entities in foreign countries, including buildings, parts of buildings, and land appurtenant thereto or used for the purposes of those missions/entities, irrespective of ownership; or a sexual assault on any person that occurs in residences in foreign countries and the land appurtenant thereto, irrespective of ownership, used for the purposes of those missions/entities or used by U.S. personnel assigned to those missions/entities.
b. Allegations involving host nation residents/nationals or locally employed staff will be investigated by the Department in consultation with the Department of Justice (DOJ) while considering the capability and laws of local authorities and the nature of the sexual assault allegation.
· Procedures for handling allegations of sexual assault may be different at the Department of Defense/combatant command and various international organizations than those at the Department of State. Personnel detailed to an international organization or a combatant command who have been the victim of a sexual assault may reach out to MED for medical guidance and to DS/DO/OSI for law enforcement guidance.
· This section does not apply to sexual assaults where the victim was younger than 18 years old at the time of the assault. The Department policy for investigating sexual assaults involving such victims can be found within the Family Advocacy Program (3 FAM 1810). Other types of domestic violence are covered in 3 FAM 1815.
3 FAM 1711.4 Policy
a. The Department of State is committed to protecting all those under COM authority and their eligible family members from sexual assault, fostering a workplace free of the threat of sexual assault, and holding those who commit sexual assault accountable for their actions.
b. The Department will offer emergency medical care to any victim covered by this policy. Following the initial emergency phase, the Department will coordinate ongoing care for any victim eligible for Department medical services. This may include medical care, psychological support, and other services provided by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals including social workers, mental health professionals, victims’ advocacy staff, and medical professionals, if such services are deemed needed and appropriate by MED and the victim.
c. When investigating sexual assaults, the Department will prioritize the safety and dignity of the victim. The Department will sensitively and fully investigate any reported allegation of sexual assault covered by 3 FAM 1711.3. The Department will investigate sexual assault allegations in collaboration with the victim, victim advocates, prosecutors, medical professionals, and others as appropriate. During the investigative process, a DS victim advocate from the Department will assist the individual who has been assaulted, if the individual so wishes. See 3 FAM 1715.5.
d. Retaliation, harassment, or discrimination of any kind against anyone covered by this policy who report incidents of sexual assault or participate in a sexual assault investigation is expressly prohibited. See, e.g., 3 FAM 1525 (prohibiting retaliation for reporting sexual harassment) and 3 FAH-1 H-1510 (Procedures for Processing Complaints of Discrimination). Certain Department employees including supervisors and other responsible Department Officials are mandated to report sexual harassment to S/OCR in accordance with 3 FAM 1525.
e. An employee who is alleged to have committed sexual assault may be subject to, among other things, removal from the premises and/or curtailment from post. The Department’s decision to take any such action will depend, as appropriate, on the nature and severity of the allegations, investigatory assessments, and the best interests of post, the Foreign Service, and/or the Department. 3 FAM 2440 addresses the policy on curtailments.
f. In addition to any potential criminal penalty, any employee found to have committed sexual assault may be subject to administrative action, which may include disciplinary action up to and including separation or removal from the person’s position and/or employment with the Department.
3 FAM 1711.5 Authority
This policy is issued under the following statutory authorities:
(1) 5 U.S.C. 301 (authorizing heads of departments to prescribe regulations)
(2) 22 U.S.C. 2709 (providing general authority to special agents)
(3) 22 U.S.C. 3926 (authorizing the Secretary to prescribe regulations to carry out functions under the Foreign Service Act)
(4) 22 U.S.C. 3927 (setting forth Chief of Mission authority)
(5) 22 U.S.C. 3929 (requiring reporting to the Office of the Inspector General)
(6) 22 U.S.C. 4802 (giving the Secretary certain security responsibilities for certain U.S. Government personnel abroad and their accompanying dependents)
(7) 22 U.S.C. 4084 (authorizing a health care program)
3 FAM 1712 RESPONSIBILITIES
3 FAM 1712.1 General
The Department employs a multi-disciplinary team approach aimed at addressing sexual assault by or against its employees and, if such an act should occur, supporting those who have been assaulted and bringing the perpetrators to justice. Multi-disciplinary in this context refers to the range of Offices and Bureaus that have a role to play both at Department headquarters including the Bureau of Medical Services (MED); Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS); Bureau of Human Resources (HR); and the Office of Civil Rights (S/OCR); and at post typically including the Chief of Mission (COM), Regional Security Officer (RSO), and the Foreign Service Medical Specialist (FSMS).
3 FAM 1712.2 Within Headquarters
3 FAM 1712.2-1 Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS)
a. DS Office of Special Investigations (DS/DO/OSI) – DS/DO/OSI is the sole entity within DS that is authorized to conduct sexual assault investigations as stated in 1 FAM 262.4-5(2)(b) and can be reached at email: DS-OSIDutyAgent@state.gov or via phone through the DS Command Center (DSCC) at 571-345-3146.
(1) DS/DO/OSI ensures that a special agent is assigned and available as a duty agent 24 hours per day, seven days per week to receive sexual assault allegations from RSO, DS Command Center, victims, medical providers, and others, and to begin investigations of the reported assault.
(2) Upon notification of an allegation of sexual assault, DS/DO/OSI will:
(a) Provide immediate guidance and support to the relevant RSO or victim;
(b) Begin an investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the allegation, gather evidence, and provide instructions to the RSO;
(c) Provide the victim with access to a victim advocate through DS Victim Resource Advocacy Program (3 FAM 1715.5); and
(d) Confer with the DOJ (including the relevant U.S. Attorney’s Office) and other federal law enforcement agencies as appropriate.
(3) In addition, DS/DO/OSI will provide training on how to respond to sexual assault allegations by:
(a) Instructing DS agents on how to initially respond to allegations of sexual assault via the Basic Regional Security Officer course, the Regional Security Officer In-Service course, and other means as determined by the DS/DO/OSI Office Director; and
(b) Providing SAEC Kit familiarization training and briefings on DS procedures in responding to sexual assaults to FSMS as requested by the MED.
b. DS Training Directorate (DS/T) – DS/T will procure and maintain an adequate supply of the designated SAEC Kits, selected by DS/DO/OSI and MED. DS/T will dispatch the SAEC Kits to posts at the request of DS/DO/OSI, MED, RSO, or a Health Unit via unclassified Diplomatic Pouch.
c. DS Command Center (DS/TIA/DSCC) – DSCC is available 24 hours a day, seven days per week to put RSO, FSMS, victims of sexual assault, and others in direct contact with the DS/DO/OSI Duty Agent. DSCC can be contacted at 571-345-3146.
3 FAM 1712.2-2 Bureau of Human Resources (DGHR)
a. HR Office of Employee Relations (HR/ER) – Regardless of any criminal investigation, sexual assault is actionable employee misconduct. HR’s Office of Employee Relations’ Conduct, Suitability, and Discipline (HR/ER/CSD) division, which administers the Department’s discipline program, will review reports of sexual assault submitted through reports of investigation from DS, law enforcement authorities, or others for assessment of appropriate disciplinary action. Employees who commit sexual assault may be subject to disciplinary penalties up to and including suspension or removal.
b. HR Office of Career Development and Assignments (HR/CDA) – If an employee requests a voluntary curtailment or a COM requests an involuntary curtailment of an employee, the employee’s Career Development Officer (CDO) in HR’s Office of Career Development and Assignments (HR/CDA) will manage the process. See 3 FAM 2443.1. The CDO will bring the curtailment request to the Assignments Panel after consultation with all concerned offices and, should the curtailment be approved, will assist the employee in obtaining a follow-on assignment.
3 FAM 1712.2-3 Bureau of Medical Services (MED)
MED is responsible for:
a. Providing guidance and training to FSMS on the proper procedures to follow when a Health Unit is notified of an allegation of sexual assault;
b. Maintaining and updating procedures to handle, ship, and store completed SAEC Kits in the event the employee declines to notify DS of the sexual assault but consents to the administration of a SAEC Kit;
c. Maintaining and updating procedures and guidelines for a victim to contact MED.
d. Maintaining and updating MED policy concerning signed written consent for the transfer of the SAEC Kit and other biological specimens to DS for the sexual assault investigation. These policies are located in the following MED standard operating procedures (SOP):
(1) 3010.0 Overseas Suspected Sexual Assault SOP
(2) 3010.2 SAEC Kit Instructions
(3) 3010.3 SAEC Kit Authorization for Collection and Release of Information
(4) 3010.4 SAEC Kit Medical History and Assault Information
(5) 3010.5 SAEC Kit Anatomical Drawings
(6) 3010.6 SAEC Kit SOP
(7) 3010.7 SAEC Kit and Medical Record Storage
3 FAM 1712.2-4 Office of Civil Rights (S/OCR)
a. S/OCR leads global training on the prevention of workplace harassment. S/OCR has the responsibility for investigating or overseeing investigations of alleged sexual harassment, which may include sexual assault. S/OCR serves as a neutral, independent fact-finder. When someone reports an allegation of sexual harassment to S/OCR, S/OCR will:
(1) Review the allegations to determine whether the allegations fall under the purview of 3 FAM 1525. If the allegations rise to the level of a sexual assault, S/OCR will refer the allegations to DS/DO/OSI.
(2) If the allegation falls under the purview of 3 FAM 1525, assign an S/OCR Attorney-Adviser to lead and/or oversee an investigation into the allegations;
(3) Conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation; and
(4) If appropriate, forward the investigative report to HR/ER/CSD to review and determine whether any Department policies have been violated and to take appropriate administrative action.
3 FAM 1712.3 At Post
3 FAM 1712.3-1 Foreign Service Medical Specialist (FSMS)
a. The FSMS may be the Regional Medical Officer (RMO), Regional Medical Officer Psychiatrist (RMO/P) or a Medical Provider (MP). The FSMS’s handling of sexual assault allegations are controlled by policies outlined in 3 FAM 1714 and standard operating procedures maintained by MED. When a FSMS learns of an allegation of sexual assault, the FSMS will:
(1) Offer the victim options for assessment and treatment, including medical evacuation, for any injuries or illnesses in accordance with the procedures outlined in MED standard operating procedures;
(2) Ensure the victim is aware of the procedure to notify the RSO or DS, should they desire to do so per the reporting guidelines in 3 FAM 1713.1-1;
(3) Ensure the victim is aware of the option to pursue a DS investigation of the incident;
(4) Ensure the victim is aware of the availability of evidence collection via the administration of a SAEC Kit examination, if prompt, appropriate collection can be arranged. Post should have a minimum of three SAEC Kits on hand at any given time;
(5) Administer the SAEC Kit if requested by the victim and feasible by the FSMS. Only U.S. citizen medical employees should administer the complete SAEC Kits. If post does not have a US direct hire FSMS present, post should contact the Regional Medical Manager or MED in Washington, DC and DS/DS/OSI for further guidance;
(6) Ensure the proper disposition of the SAEC Kit in accordance with MED and DS SOPs; and
(7) Provide the victim with a referral to a RMO/P or Employee Consultation Services (ECS) as appropriate. ECS can be reached by email at MEDECS@state.gov or via phone 703-812-2257.
3 FAM 1712.3-2 Regional Security Officer (RSO)
a. The RSO is the federal law enforcement officer charged with ensuring the safety and security of those under COM authority and their eligible family members, and of COM facilities, and has the authority to conduct investigations of federal offenses involving U.S. government personnel and facilities. In situations involving allegations of sexual assault, the RSO will:
(1) Immediately take any necessary steps to prevent any further harm to the victim;
(2) Provide support for the victim including referring the victim to the Health Unit;
(3) Notify the COM/Principal Officer/Chargé, the responsible FSMS, and DS/DO/OSI, except as otherwise provided in 3 FAM 1713;
(4) Ensure that the victim has been made aware of the availability, purpose, and use of the SAEC Kit;
(5) Take initial steps to locate and protect evidence in consultation with DS/DO/OSI; and
(6) Coordinate additional investigative activities based upon instructions from DS/DO/OSI.
b. The RSO should include post’s Sexual Assault policy required by 3 FAM 1712.3-3(a)(2) in the security briefing required per 12 FAM 424.1 for newly assigned personnel, eligible family members, and TDY personnel.
3 FAM 1712.3-3 Chief of Mission (COM) or Principal Officer (PO)
a. The Chief of Mission (COM) or Principal Officer (PO) at each post is responsible for:
(1) Ensuring that procedures established by these policies are followed. Given the difficulty of these issues, DS/DO/OSI, DGHR, and HR/ER can be consulted at any time.
(2) Ensuring post publishes a management notice that outlines how the post will respond to reported sexual assault. That notice should include information on how victims or other community members can report an allegation of sexual assault at post; what resources (such as medical, counseling, law enforcement) are available at post to victims of sexual assault; address any training made available at post; and reference this FAM section for additional information.
(3) Respecting the specialized reporting requirements for the Foreign Service Medical Specialist (FSMS) and the Regional Security Officer (RSO) as outlined in this FAM and supporting privacy obligations of the FSMS and the investigative responsibilities of the RSO.
(4) Ensuring that a sexual assault victim is treated with the utmost dignity and respect; making certain that no one at post attempts to compel a victim to provide information or give a statement; and making clear that retaliatory actions against anyone covered by this policy, who report a sexual assault or participate in a sexual assault investigation are prohibited.
(5) If the COM determines that it would be in the best interests of the post for the assignment of the alleged perpetrator of a sexual assault to be curtailed, the COM may make a request to DGHR for the involuntary curtailment of the employee in accordance with the procedures in 3 FAM 2443.2. As an exceptional measure, the COM may direct an immediate involuntary curtailment under the procedures in 3 FAM 2443.3. Prior to any curtailment action, the COM should consult with DS/DO/OSI and HR/ER. DS/DO/OSI, HR/ER, and DGHR are available for consultations at any point in the curtailment process.
(6) Following a reported sexual assault, post may wish to update or re-issue policies or operations. Post may consult with L, DS/DO/OSI, HR/ER, and/or DGHR to discuss whether modifications are necessary.
3 FAM 1713 GENERAL REPORTING PROCEDURES IN CASES OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
3 FAM 1713.1 Sexual Assault Reporting Guidelines
a. The Department strongly encourages anyone aware of a sexual assault that falls under 3 FAM 1710 to immediately report allegations of sexual assault to:
· RSO; or
· DS/DO/OSI via email DS-OSIDutyAgent@state.gov or via phone through the DS Command Center at 571-345-3146; or
· S/OCR or via phone at 202-647-9295; or
· The COM.
b. If the alleged perpetrator has a position of authority at post (COM, Deputy Chief of Mission, RSO, FSMS, etc.) or is an eligible family member of someone in that position, that person in a position of authority must be excluded from any reporting chain and the report should instead be made to a more senior official at post or by contacting a headquarters-based office such as DS/DO/OSI.
c. An individual may report a sexual assault at any time, regardless of the amount of time that has elapsed since the assault occurred.
d. Except as required by law, non-MED personnel will only disclose information about sexual assaults to other Department officers and employees on a need-to-know basis, including to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) in accordance with 22 U.S.C. 3929, and to other Federal and local agencies, in accordance with the Privacy Act. Disclosures by MED personnel are discussed in 3 FAM 1713.1-1(e).
3 FAM 1713.1-1 Foreign Service Medical Specialist Reporting Guidelines
a. All healthcare related decisions will be made independent of a victim’s choice to report, or not report, the incident to RSO, DS/DO/OSI, or any other person or entity.
b. FSMS should ensure that anyone who has been subject to sexual assault is aware of the option to report the incident to DS via the RSO or DS/DO/OSI.
c. If a victim declines to report the incident to DS, the FSMS should ensure the victim is aware of the option of the administration of a SAEC Kit. The administration of the SAEC Kit allows for the preservation of evidence in the event the victim later decides to notify DS and pursue an investigation of the sexual assault.
d. In the event that FSMS personnel become aware of multiple potentially related sexual assaults where victims have declined pursuing a case, the FSMS personnel should advise victims that there is/are similar case(s) and offer assistance if the victim then wish to report the assault to RSO or DS/DO/OSI.
e. MED personnel will not share protected health information except in accordance with the Notice of Privacy Practices, or with the written consent of the patient. Individuals may obtain a copy of the MED Notice of Privacy Practices from the Health Unit or online.
3 FAM 1713.1-2 DS Law Enforcement Personnel Reporting Requirements
a. DS special agents at post are required to report allegations of sexual assault to the RSO, and the RSO must report the allegation of sexual assault to DS/DO/OSI and the Chief of Mission.
b. In cases where the alleged perpetrator of the assault is the COM, Deputy Chief of Mission, RSO, FSMS, or an eligible family member of one of these positions, the allegation shall be reported directly to DS/DO/OSI.
c. In cases where the victim is a DS special agent, the victim has the same rights and can follow the same procedure as other victims (including deciding not to report the assault).
d. When reporting a sexual assault allegation, DS law enforcement personnel should be prepared to provide the following information:
(1) The basic facts surrounding the allegation;
(2) The condition of the victim and if the victim has consulted with, or been treated by, any medical professionals;
(3) Biographical data of all involved individuals; and
(4) Any additional information known at the time of the report.
e. Once the allegation is reported to DS/DO/OSI, DS law enforcement personnel at post should not conduct any further investigative activity unless explicitly directed by DS/DO/OSI.
3 FAM 1713.1-3 S/OCR
See 3 FAM 1712.2-4 for details on S/OCR reporting.
3 FAM 1714 GENERAL PROCEDURES FOR DEPARTMENT MEDICAL PERSONNEL RELATED TO SEXUAL ASSAULT
3 FAM 1714.1 Victims Not Covered under the Department’s Medical Program
If a sexual assault covered by the Applicability section in 3 FAM 1711.3 is reported but the victim is not a participant in the Department’s Medical Program, the Health Unit will offer emergency medical assistance to the victim and will administer an SAEC Kit for any victim who consents.
3 FAM 1714.2 Victims Covered by the Department’s Medical Program
At post, the Health Unit provides care following sexual assault to participants in the Department’s Medical Program. Per 16 FAM 315.1 and MED SOPs, medical evacuation travel will be arranged to the appropriate medical evacuation location if needed medical care is not available at post or if requested by the Medical Program participant.
3 FAM 1714.3 Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit (SAEC Kit)
a. SAEC Kits are administered by FSMS to document the facts and circumstances of a sexual assault and to collect physical, biological, trace, and other evidence of a sexual assault that may be present on a victim’s body or clothing. If post does not have a US direct hire FSMS present, post should contact the Regional Medical Manager or MED in Washington, DC and DS/DS/OSI for further guidance per 3 FAM 1712.3-1.
b. Regardless of any medical training, certification, or license, DS personnel are not authorized to administer SAEC Kits without authorization from DS/DO/OSI in consultation with the DOJ or L/M/DS.
c. SAEC Kits should be available in every post with a FSMS assigned or present. SAEC Kits are funded by DS and shipped directly to the post. FSMS and RSO should work together to ensure that at least three SAEC Kits are available at every COM facility with an assigned FSMS. Posts should contact DS/DO/OSI (via DSCC at 571-345-3146 or via email at DS-OSIDutyAgent@state.gov) to obtain additional SAEC Kits.
d. The Department-provided SAEC Kit includes step-by-step instructions and requires no specific training beyond the FSMS’s formal medical training to administer successfully. The SAEC Kit is appropriate to be used for victims of all ages.
e. In addition to the steps within the SAEC Kit, the FSMS may, when necessary and with the victim’s consent, collect blood and urine samples from the victim. The collection and storage of blood and urine is guided by MED SOP 3010. If blood or urine samples are collected for investigative purposes, FSMS should notify DS/DO/OSI for guidance on collection.
f. If the victim declines to notify RSO of the sexual assault allegation but allows FSMS to conduct a SAEC Kit, the FSMS should:
(1) Record this information on a patient progress note to be stored with restrictive access and non-personally identifiable (PII) MED identification.
(2) Follow established MED procedures for labeling, handling, storing, and shipping the completed SAEC Kit.
(3) Provide the victim with the necessary information to contact DS/DO/OSI and MED if they decide to pursue an investigation of the sexual assault allegations.
(4) Protect the identity of the victim. MED maintains a procedure for the labeling, handling, shipping, and storage of the completed SAEC Kit using non-PII, MED-assigned identification.
3 FAM 1715 GENERAL PROCEDURES FOR CONDUCTING SEXUAL ASSAULT INVESTIGATIONS BY DS
3 FAM 1715.1 DS Investigations
a. DS prioritizes safety, dignity, and discretion in its sexual assault investigations. This approach ensures the victim is aware of the steps of the investigation and offers the victim the opportunity to communicate freely with the investigator and a DS victim advocate. If, after reporting the assault to DS, the victim formally declines to proceed further, DS will respect the victim’s decision and generally not re-contact the victim to ask the victim to reconsider his/her decision.
b. The DS investigation begins when any DS special agent is notified or otherwise made aware of a sexual assault under 3 FAM 1711.3. DS special agents must notify DS/DO/OSI immediately of these allegations. The investigation will be led by DS/DO/OSI and will require the support of the RSO located at post. Upon notification, DS/DO/OSI will provide immediate written and oral instructions. In investigating allegations of sexual assault, DS/DO/OSI has the authority to:
(1) Interview victims, witnesses, and suspects;
(2) Request the administration of a SAEC Kit;
(3) Conduct crime scene investigations as appropriate;
(4) Review relevant electronic records, Department records, law enforcement databases, and other sources of information;
(5) Conduct other investigative steps as determined by DS/DO/OSI;
(6) Consult with the DOJ; and
(7) Consult with, or if appropriate, refer investigations to other law enforcement agencies.
3 FAM 1715.2 Specially Trained Investigators
DS/DO/OSI maintains a cadre of DS special agents who are specially trained and designated as sexual assault investigators. These investigators have completed a training curriculum identified and approved by the DS/DO/OSI Office Director. Sexual assault investigations will be led by a designated DS/DO/OSI sexual assault investigator.
3 FAM 1715.3 RSO Guidance for Handling of SAEC Kits
When provided with a completed SAEC Kit, RSO should consult with DS/DO/OSI to ensure a property receipt (Form DS-1857) and a chain of custody form (Form DS-1858) are completed correctly. The items should be packaged in accordance with the guidelines found in 12 FAH-4 H-035. The packaged items should be secured as evidence in a locked container that is only accessible to RSO. The items should be stored securely until additional guidance is provided by DS/DO/OSI.
3 FAM 1715.4 DS/DO/OSI Guidance for Handling of SAEC Kits
It is the policy of DS/DO/OSI to maintain completed SAEC Kits for a period of five years unless otherwise directed or approved by the DOJ in the United States.
3 FAM 1715.5 DS Victims’ Resource Advocacy Program (DS/ICI/VRAP)
DS maintains a victim advocacy program that is designed to provide assistance and support for the victim including, but not limited to, counseling referrals, assistance obtaining financial reimbursement for lost property, relocation support, understanding of the judicial process, and accompaniment to judicial proceedings.
VRAP can be contacted via telephone at 855-810-7878; via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at VRAP Web site.
3 FAM 1716 DEPARTURE FROM POST
a. A victim may request to immediately and/or permanently depart their post of assignment or TDY in the aftermath of a sexual assault. Such departures can take several forms.
(1) Medevac – Per 16 FAM 315.1 and MED SOP 3010, medical evacuation travel will be arranged to the appropriate medical evacuation location if needed medical care is not available at post or if requested by the victim. Medevac orders will be written by the FSMS in the usual fashion and the medical travel will be coordinated by MED.
(2) Meetings with DS/DO/OSI – In an effort to support a victim who reports a sexual assault to DS, DS/DO/OSI may arrange for the victim to travel to Washington, D.C. as part of its investigation to meet with victim advocates, criminal investigators, and other appropriate personnel.
(3) Curtailment – Per 3 FAM 2443.1, an employee assigned abroad may request curtailment of his or her tour of duty for any reason. A curtailment is an assignment action, not a disciplinary action. See 3 FAM 1712.2-2.b.
3 FAM 1717 THROUGH 1719 UNASSIGNED