38 U.S. Code § 1709 - Comprehensive policy on reporting and tracking sexual assault incidents and other safety incidents

(a) Policy Required.—
(1) Not later than September 30, 2012, the Secretary shall develop and implement a centralized and comprehensive policy on the reporting and tracking of sexual assault incidents and other safety incidents that occur at each medical facility of the Department, including—
(A) suspected, alleged, attempted, or confirmed cases of sexual assault, regardless of whether such assaults lead to prosecution or conviction;
(B) criminal and purposefully unsafe acts;
(C) alcohol or substance abuse related acts (including by employees of the Department); and
(D) any kind of event involving alleged or suspected abuse of a patient.
(2) In developing and implementing a policy under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consider the effects of such policy on—
(A) the use by veterans of mental health care and substance abuse treatments; and
(B) the ability of the Department to refer veterans to such care or treatment.
(b) Scope.— The policy required by subsection (a) shall cover each of the following:
(1) For purposes of reporting and tracking sexual assault incidents and other safety incidents, definitions of the terms—
(A) “safety incident”;
(B) “sexual assault”; and
(C) “sexual assault incident”.
(2)
(A) The development and use of specific risk-assessment tools to examine any risks related to sexual assault that a veteran may pose while being treated at a medical facility of the Department, including clear and consistent guidance on the collection of information related to—
(i) the legal history of the veteran; and
(ii) the medical record of the veteran.
(B) In developing and using tools under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall consider the effects of using such tools on the use by veterans of health care furnished by the Department.
(3) The mandatory training of employees of the Department on security issues, including awareness, preparedness, precautions, and police assistance.
(4) The mandatory implementation, use, and regular testing of appropriate physical security precautions and equipment, including surveillance camera systems, computer-based panic alarm systems, stationary panic alarms, and electronic portable personal panic alarms.
(5) Clear, consistent, and comprehensive criteria and guidance with respect to an employee of the Department communicating and reporting sexual assault incidents and other safety incidents to—
(A) supervisory personnel of the employee at—
(i) a medical facility of the Department;
(ii) an office of a Veterans Integrated Service Network; and
(iii) the central office of the Veterans Health Administration; and
(B) a law enforcement official of the Department.
(6) Clear and consistent criteria and guidelines with respect to an employee of the Department referring and reporting to the Office of Inspector General of the Department sexual assault incidents and other safety incidents that meet the regulatory criminal threshold prescribed under sections 901 and 902 of this title.
(7) An accountable oversight system within the Veterans Health Administration that includes—
(A) systematic information sharing of reported sexual assault incidents and other safety incidents among officials of the Administration who have programmatic responsibility; and
(B) a centralized reporting, tracking, and monitoring system for such incidents.
(8) Consistent procedures and systems for law enforcement officials of the Department with respect to investigating, tracking, and closing reported sexual assault incidents and other safety incidents.
(9) Clear and consistent guidance for the clinical management of the treatment of sexual assaults that are reported more than 72 hours after the assault.
(c) Updates to Policy.— The Secretary shall review and revise the policy required by subsection (a) on a periodic basis as the Secretary considers appropriate and in accordance with best practices.
(d) Annual Report.—
(1) Not later than 60 days after the date on which the Secretary develops the policy required by subsection (a) and not later than October 1 of each year thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs of the House of Representatives a report on the implementation of the policy.
(2) The report required by paragraph (1) shall include—
(A) the number and type of sexual assault incidents and other safety incidents reported by each medical facility of the Department;
(B) a detailed description of the implementation of the policy required by subsection (a), including any revisions made to such policy from the previous year; and
(C) the effectiveness of such policy on improving the safety and security of the medical facilities of the Department, including the performance measures used to evaluate such effectiveness.

Source

(Added Pub. L. 112–154, title I, § 106(a),Aug. 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 1171.)

 

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