10 U.S. Code § 1565b - Victims of sexual assault: access to legal assistance and services of Sexual Assault Response Coordinators and Sexual Assault Victim Advocates

§ 1565b.
Victims of sexual assault: access to legal assistance and services of Sexual Assault Response Coordinators and Sexual Assault Victim Advocates
(a)Availability of Legal Assistance and Victim Advocate Services.—
(1) A member of the armed forces, or a dependent of a member, who is the victim of a sexual assault may be provided the following:
(A)
Legal assistance provided by military or civilian legal assistance counsel pursuant to sections 1044 and 1044e of this title.
(B)
Assistance provided by a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.
(C)
Assistance provided by a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate.
(2)
A member of the armed forces or dependent who is the victim of sexual assault shall be informed of the availability of assistance under paragraph (1) as soon as the member or dependent seeks assistance from a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, a military criminal investigator, a victim/witness liaison, or a trial counsel. The member or dependent shall also be informed that the legal assistance and the services of a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator or a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate under paragraph (1) are optional and may be declined, in whole or in part, at any time.
(3)
Subject to such exceptions for exigent circumstances as the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating may prescribe, notice of the availability of a Special Victims’ Counsel under section 1044e of this title shall be provided to a member of the armed forces or dependent who is the victim of sexual assault before any military criminal investigator or trial counsel interviews, or requests any statement from, the member or dependent regarding the alleged sexual assault.
(4)
Legal assistance and the services of Sexual Assault Response Coordinators and Sexual Assault Victim Advocates under paragraph (1) shall be available to a member or dependent regardless of whether the member or dependent elects unrestricted or restricted (confidential) reporting of the sexual assault.
(b)Restricted Reporting.—
(1)
Under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, a member of the armed forces, or an adult dependent of a member, who is the victim of a sexual assault may elect to confidentially disclose the details of the assault to an individual specified in paragraph (2) and receive medical treatment, legal assistance under section 1044 of this title, or counseling, without initiating an official investigation of the allegations.
(2) The individuals specified in this paragraph are the following:
(A)
A Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.
(B)
A Sexual Assault Victim Advocate.
(C)
Healthcare personnel specifically identified in the regulations required by paragraph (1).
(3)
In the case of information disclosed pursuant to paragraph (1), any State law or regulation that would require an individual specified in paragraph (2) to disclose the personally identifiable information of the adult victim or alleged perpetrator of the sexual assault to a State or local law enforcement agency shall not apply, except when reporting is necessary to prevent or mitigate a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of an individual.
(c)Definitions.—In this section:
(1)Sexual assault.—
The term “sexual assault” includes the offenses of rape, sexual assault, forcible sodomy, aggravated sexual contact, abusive sexual contact, and attempts to commit such offenses, as punishable under applicable Federal or State law.
(2)State.—
The term “State” includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any territory or possession of the United States.
Amendments

2015—Subsec. (a)(3), (4). Pub. L. 114–92, § 534(b), added par. (3) and redesignated former par. (3) as (4).

Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 114–92, § 536(b), substituted “an adult dependent” for “a dependent”.

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 114–92, § 536(a), added par. (3).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 114–92, § 536(c), added subsec. (c).

2013—Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 113–66 substituted “sections 1044 and 1044e” for “section 1044”.

Legal Assistance for Victims of Sexual Assault

Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title V, § 581(a), Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1430, provided that:

“Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 31, 2011], the Secretaries of the military departments shall prescribe regulations on the provision of legal assistance to victims of sexual assault. Such regulations shall require that legal assistance be provided by military or civilian legal assistance counsel pursuant to section 1044 of title 10, United States Code.”

 

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