Restricted Reporting

Sexual assault victims who want to confidentially disclose a sexual assault without triggering an official investigation can contact a SARC/SHARP Specialist, VA/SHARP Specialist, or a healthcare provider. By filing a restricted report with a SARC/SHARP Specialist, VA/SHARP Specialist, or a healthcare provider, a victim can disclose the sexual assault without triggering an official investigation and receive medical treatment, advocacy services, legal assistance, and counseling.

Victim conversations with a SARC/SHARP Specialist or VA/SHARP Specialist about the sexual assault are confidential communications, not to be disclosed to others, including law enforcement or the chain of command, except in a few very rare circumstances.

Discussing a sexual assault with a chaplain is not the same as filing a restricted report, but communications with a chaplain are privileged under Military Rule of Evidence 503 and AR 165-1.

Who May Make a Restricted Report?

Restricted reporting is available at this time to military personnel of the Armed Forces and Military Dependents 18 years of age and older who are eligible for treatment in the military healthcare system, who were victims of sexual assault perpetrated by someone other than a spouse or intimate partner. Military personnel include members on active duty and members of the Reserve component (Reserve and National Guard). National Guard and Reserve Component members will be eligible to receive limited SHARP support services from a SARC and a SHARP VA and are eligible to file a Restricted or Unrestricted Report if they are reporting a sexual assault that occurred prior to, or while not performing active service or inactive training. SHARP services are those that are provided by a SARC or SHARP VA.

Whether they file a restricted or unrestricted Report, members of the Reserve Components shall have access to medical treatment and counseling for injuries and illness incurred from a sexual assault inflicted upon a Service member when performing active duty service and during inactive duty training. Medical entitlements remain dependent on a line of duty determination as to whether or not the sexual assault incident occurred in an active duty or inactive duty training status. However, regardless of their duty status at the time that the sexual assault incident occurred, or at the time that they are seeking SHARP services, Reserve Component members can elect either the Restricted or Unrestricted Reporting option and have access to the SHARP services of a SARC and a SHARP VA.

At this time, retired members of any component are not eligible for a restricted report, and as a result of a current Army pilot program, DOD Civilians are now eligible to make a restricted report.

Considerations when electing a restricted report

  • You receive appropriate medical treatment, advocacy, legal assistance, and counseling.
  • It provides some personal space and time to consider your options and to begin the healing process.
  • It empowers you to seek relevant information and support to make informed decisions about whether you want to participate in a criminal investigation.
  • You control the release and management of your personal information.
  • You decide whether and when to move forward with initiating an investigation.
  • It can establish a record important for future potential veteran benefits and treatment.


  • Your assailant remains unpunished.
  • You cannot receive a military protective order.
  • You may continue to have contact with your assailant, if he/she is in your organization or billeted with you.
  • Evidence from the crime scene where the assault occurred may be lost, and the official investigation, should you switch to an unrestricted report, will likely encounter significant obstacles.
  • You will not be able to discuss the assault with anyone in your chain of command without imposing an obligation on them to report the incident, and some commands have requirements that impose this duty on all Soldiers, to include your friends. The only exceptions would be chaplains, designated healthcare providers, your assigned SHARP/VA Specialist, and the SARC/SHARP Specialist.
  • You will be ineligible to invoke the collateral misconduct provision of DoD's sexual assault policy in the event that your command learns that you had been engaged in some form of misconduct at the time you were assaulted.
  • You are not eligible for a potential expedited transfer.