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About the Survey

The Sexual Violence Support and Experiences Study (SVSES) allows the DoD to learn directly from Service members about their experiences with sexual violence. The surveys are completely confidential and ask questions about Service member satisfaction with support services, aspects of the military justice process, and questions about Service member health, well-being, and career progression.

In order to continue improving the Military’s support services and accountability processes, it’s important to hear from Service members. Traditionally, OPA has collected feedback from Service members at a single point in time. However, we know that perceptions and experiences may change over time; that’s why the SVSES is a continuous effort. Service members who join the study will take an initial survey followed by a series of shorter follow-up surveys.

The SVSES is open to all members of the Active, Reserve, and National Guard and members can join the study at any time. Data from the SVSES will provide DoD policy offices and military Service branch leaders with information about the impact of sexual assault on military members and inform ways to improve sexual assault response systems and military justice processes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can join the study?

Any Active, Reserve, or National Guard member who has experienced sexual assault or sexual violence while serving in the Military, regardless of whether you reported the experience to military authorities.

How do I join the study? How do I complete the survey?

You can join the study and complete the initial survey now by clicking on the link in the Survey Information box above. You may also receive an email inviting you to join the study. Invitation emails are being sent to individuals who previously made an Unrestricted Report as well as individuals who previously indicated interest in learning more about the SVSES.

How is my identity protected? Will my answers be kept private?

The survey is intended to be confidential to the fullest extent allowed by law (for example, there may be Federal laws that require reporting of threats you may make to yourself or others). We will not share your individual responses to the survey questions. The government and its contractors have a number of policies and procedures to ensure the survey data are safe and protected. For example, no identifying information (name, address, Social Security Number) is ever stored in the same file as survey responses. This data collection is being carried out under the System of Record Notice (SORN) DHRA 03 (“Survey Data and Assessment” [July 28, 2021, 86 FR 40498]).

Who is sponsoring this study? How will my responses be used?

The study is sponsored by the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Policy leaders throughout the DoD and within the military Service branches will be able to use information from the SVSES to improve support services survivors receive and the processes survivors go through to seek accountability.

Do I have to answer all the questions?

No, it is not necessary to answer every question. You can skip any question that you prefer not to answer.

Do I have to take every survey?

No, you do not need to take every survey. You can skip any follow-up survey. You will remain in the study until you withdraw from the study.

Can I withdraw from the study?

If you wish to withdraw from the study, please notify the Survey Processing Center by sending an e-mail to SVSES-Survey@mail.mil or call: 1-800-881-5307.