Army Sexual Harassment Policy
Q: The policy recommends delaying action on collateral misconduct: Does this mean that UCMJ or administrative action against a Soldier (alleged) is delayed until investigation is completed?
A:Commanders should consult with their servicing Office of the Staff Judge Advocate or other servicing Judge Advocate in making these determinations. The delayed action policy means that a Commander may delay action, but does not require delaying action. The DoD Directive Type Memorandum (DTM) directly addresses this issue. It states: One of the most significant barriers to the reporting of a sexual assault is the victim's fear of punishment for some of the victim's own actions leading up to or associated with the sexual assault incident. Many reported sexual assaults involve circumstances where the victim may have engaged in some form of misconduct (i.e., underage drinking or other related alcohol offenses, adultery, fraternization or other violations of certain regulations or orders). Such behavior may be considered collateral misconduct, and may be viewed as a contributing factor to the sexual assault. Unit commanders have authority to determine, in a timely manner, how to best dispose of alleged misconduct, to include making the decision to defer disciplinary actions regarding a victim's collateral misconduct until after the final disposition of the sexual assault case. Unit commanders should exercise that authority in appropriate cases.... When considering what corrective actions may be appropriate for the victim's collateral misconduct, commanders and supervisors should keep in mind the critical importance of responding appropriately in order to encourage sexual assault reporting and continued cooperation, while avoiding those actions that may further traumatize the victim.
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