3 FAM 1750


(CT:PER-1042;   06-01-2021)
(Office of Origin:  DS/DO/OSI)

3 FAM 1751  Introduction

(CT:PER-862;   07-27-2017)

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 and it is committed to effectively and sensitively responding to personnel who have been sexually assaulted, ensuring that they are treated with care and respect.  The policies and procedures in this section define the Department’s goals of effectively preventing and addressing sexual assaults; the actions it will take in response to allegations of sexual assault; and the approach it will use in holding those Department personnel who commit sexual assault accountable for their actions.  The language used in this 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. Sexual assaults that occur within the United States generally fall under the jurisdiction of the State or locality where the assault occurred.  Personnel who are victims of sexual assault are not under any obligation to report the assault to the Department.

c.  Anyone who has been sexually assaulted anywhere in the United States should:

(1)  Go to a safe place away from the perpetrator;

(2)  Reach out for help.  Call 911 to receive assistance from local medical and law enforcement;

(3)  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; and

(b)  If still at the location of the assault, refrain from cleaning or straightening up or removing anything from the surroundings;

(4)  If the victim did not immediately call for medical or law enforcement assistance and later would like to reach out for help, the victim may still call 911 at any time.  Victims of sexual assault under circumstances described in 3 FAM 1753 may also reach out to:

(a)  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, 7 days a week;

(b)  Employee Consultation Services (ECS) by email:  MEDECS@state.gov or by telephone at 703-812-2257; and

(c)  A sexual-assault crisis center.

d. Sexual assault involving chief-of-mission personnel and facilities outside of the United States is covered in 3 FAM 1710.

3 FAM 1752  Definitions

(CT:PER-862;   07-27-2017)

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.  For example, see 3 FAM 1525.1, What Is Sexual Harassment?  Pursuant to 3 FAM 1525, Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy, 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.

3 FAM 1753  Applicability

(CT:PER-862;   07-27-2017)

a. This policy applies to all of the following categories:

(1)  All Department employees in the United States;

(2)  Persons under personal-services contracts (PSCs) or personal-services agreements (PSAs) in the United States;

(3)  Other individuals, such as third-party contractors, student volunteers (interns) and nonemployee fellows, and other personnel (e.g., subcontractors) in the United States who provide services to the State Department when the allegation involves conduct that occurs on duty, or is associated with the individual’s position within the Department; and

(4)  Any sexual assault that occurs at any Department facility within the United States.

b. Procedures for handling allegations of sexual assault may be different at other agencies.  Department personnel detailed to another agency may reach out 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 for medical guidance, and to DS/DO/OSI for law enforcement guidance.

c.  The provisions of this 3 FAM 1750 apply to the fullest extent permitted by law.

3 FAM 1754  Policy

(CT:PER-862;   07-27-2017)

a. The Department of State is committed to protecting personnel 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. Sexual assaults which occur within the United States generally fall under the jurisdiction of the State or locality where the sexual assault occurred.  The State or the local jurisdiction is primarily responsible for any criminal investigation and prosecution.  An employee who is a victim of sexual assault is not under any obligation to report that sexual assault to the Department.

c.  For sexual assaults that occur in the United States, DS/DO/OSI will:

(1)  Refer the victim to an appropriate State or local victim advocate;

(2)  Encourage victims of sexual assault to seek out healthcare including medical examinations and mental health counseling;

(3)  Refer the victim to the appropriate State or local law enforcement agency to pursue a criminal investigation if the victim desires;

(4)  Provide the employee with information about psychological support available through Employee Consultation Services; and

(5)  Assess the need for an administrative investigation following the conclusion of a criminal investigation.

d. Retaliation, harassment, or discrimination of any kind against anyone covered by this policy who reports incidents of sexual assault or participates in a sexual assault investigation, is expressly prohibited.  For example, see 3 FAM 1525, Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy, 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 instances of possible 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 removal from the premises, depending on the severity of the allegations, preliminary investigatory assessments, and if removal is in the best interests of the Department.

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 employment.

g. Third-party contractors working in Department of State facilities will be subject to the rules and policies of his/her parent company or organization.  However, the Department of State may provide an administrative report or suggest corrective action to the parent company or organization, as appropriate.

h. The Department will also take appropriate action concerning any alleged perpetrator who commits a sexual assault (e.g., removal from the premises).  In addition, the Department may upon receipt of an allegation of misconduct, in accordance with applicable laws, procedures and regulations, revoke building access; suspend visitor’s access requests; suspend and/or revoke Department of State-issued security clearances; notify the appropriate bureau executive office; and notify the clearance issuing agency, if applicable.

3 FAM 1755  Authority

(CT:PER-862;   07-27-2017)

This policy is issued under the following statutory authorities:

(1)  22 U.S.C. 3926 (authorizing the Secretary to prescribe regulations to carry out functions under the Foreign Service Act); and

(2)  5 U.S.C. 301 (authorizing heads of departments to prescribe regulations).

3 FAM 1756  reporting

3 FAM 1756.1  General Reporting to the Department in Cases of Sexual Assault

(CT:PER-862;   07-27-2017)

a. Victims of sexual assault are not required to report their sexual assault to the Department.

b. The Department strongly encourages anyone who knows or suspects or is aware of a sexual assault covered by 3 FAM 1750 to immediately report allegations of sexual assault to:

(1)  DS/DO/OSI via email DS-OSIDutyAgent@state.gov or via phone through the DS Command Center at 571-345-3146; or

(2)  S/OCR or via phone at 202-647-9295.

c.  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 MED intranet page.

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.

3 FAM 1756.2  Responsibilities

(CT:PER-986;   05-11-2020)

Sexual assault crimes occurring in the United States are primarily addressed by local law enforcement entities.  Regardless of any criminal investigation, sexual assault by Department personnel is actionable misconduct.  The Department will investigate reported incidents appropriately.  The Department employs a multi-disciplinary administrative 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 ensuring appropriate disciplinary action against those who have committed sexual assault.  Multi-disciplinary in this context refers to the range of offices and bureaus that have a role to play at Department headquarters including the Bureau of Medical Services (MED); Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS); Bureau of Global Talent Management (GTM); and the Office of Civil Rights (S/OCR).

3 FAM 1756.2-1  Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS)

(CT:PER-862;   07-27-2017)

a. The DS Office of Special Investigations (OSI) is the sole entity within DS that is authorized to conduct sexual-assault investigations as stated in 1 FAM 262.4-5 and can be reached by email at DS-OSIDutyAgent@state.gov or via phone through the DS Command Center at 571-345-3146 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

b. DS/DO/OSI ensures that a special agent is assigned and available as a duty agent 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to receive sexual-assault allegations from RSO, DS Command Center (DSCC), victims, medical providers, and others, and within the scope of OSI’s investigative authority, to begin investigations of the reported assault.

c.  A sexual assault that occurs within the United States is usually within the jurisdiction of local or State law enforcement agencies.  OSI can assist and provide support to the local or State law enforcement agency in support of their investigation.  Upon notification of an allegation of sexual assault, OSI will:

(1)  Provide immediate guidance and support to the victim;

(2)  Provide the victim with a referral to local and State law enforcement as appropriate;

(3)  Refer the victim to Employee Consultation Services;

(4)  Begin an inquiry into the facts and circumstances surrounding the allegation and gather evidence to determine if OSI has the authority to investigate; and

(5)  As appropriate, confer with other law enforcement agencies and refer the victim to an appropriate victim advocate.

d. Apart from any criminal investigation, OSI may conduct an administrative investigation of any sexual assault allegations if:

(1)  The assault occurred at a Department-controlled facility within the United States; or

(2)  The subject of the sexual assault investigation is Department personnel.

e. Based upon the allegation, OSI may:

(1)  Interview victims, witnesses, and subjects;

(2)  Review electronic records, Department records, law-enforcement databases, and other sources of information;

(3)  Conduct other investigative steps; or

(4)  Consult with, or if appropriate, refer investigations to other law-enforcement agencies.

f.  Specially trained investigators:  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 OSI Office Director.  Sexual assault investigations will be led by a designated OSI sexual-assault investigator.

g. Security clearances:  The DS Office of Personnel Suitability and Security (DS/SI/PSS) and the DS Industrial Security Division (DS/IS/IND) manage security clearances for all Department personnel including contractors:

(1)  In cases where the subject’s security clearance was issued by the Department, DS/SI/PSS may, upon receiving an allegation of a sexual assault, conduct an adjudicative review of the subject’s continued eligibility for access to classified information.  This review could result in the subject’s security clearance being proposed for suspension and/or revocation; or

(2)  In cases where the subject’s security clearance was issued by another U.S. Government entity, DS/IS/IND may, upon receiving allegations of a sexual assault, notify the clearance granting entity and suspend the subject’s visitor access request, which grants access to Department facilities.

3 FAM 1756.2-2  Bureau of Medical Services (MED)

(CT:PER-862;   07-27-2017)

a. Medical emergencies in the United States are handled by local medical entities.  If an employee reaches out to MED regarding a sexual assault, MED will assist the individual in seeking medical assistance.

b. Employee Consultation Services (ECS) is the Department’s employee assistance program.  An employee who is the victim of a sexual assault may contact ECS for assistance in obtaining mental health services.  ECS is a confidential and free service to employees and can be contacted at MEDECS@state.gov or via phone 703-812-2257.

3 FAM 1756.2-3  Office of Civil Rights (S/OCR)

(CT:PER-986;   05-11-2020)

a. Anyone who is the victim of a sexual assault which occurs within a domestic Department facility may report the incident to S/OCR.  Additionally, anyone who is the victim of a sexual assault where the subject of the investigation is Department personnel, may report the incident to S/OCR.

b. S/OCR has the responsibility for investigating or overseeing investigations of alleged sexual harassment, which includes sexual assault.  S/OCR serves as a neutral, independent fact-finder.  When an allegation of sexual harassment is reported 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 appear to 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-advisor 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 the Bureau of Global Talent Management to review and to determine whether any Department policies have been violated.

3 FAM 1756.2-4  Bureau of Global Talent Management

(CT:PER-986;   05-11-2020)

a. Regardless of any criminal investigation, sexual assault is actionable employee misconduct.  The Bureau of Global Talent Management's Office of Employee Relations’ Conduct, Suitability, and Discipline Division (GTM/ER/CSD), which administers the Department’s discipline program, will review reports of sexual assault submitted through reports of investigation from DS, and/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 separation/removal from employment.

b. For information about domestic curtailment, see 3 FAM 2444 and for Civil Service reassignment, see 3 FAM 2400.  Foreign Service personnel should contact the Office of Career Development and Assignments (GTM/CDA) and Civil Service personnel should contact the Office of Civil Service Talent Management (GTM/CSTM).

3 fam 1757  through 1759 unassigned