Release
Immediate Release

CATCH a Serial Offender Program Available for Sexual Assault Victims Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Sept. 23, 2020

The CATCH a Serial Offender program continues to be available for sexual assault victims amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although social distancing and other safety measures continue to be implemented across the nation, victims may still call their local sexual assault response coordinator (SARC) or sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR) victim advocate to file a confidential report, known as a restricted report, and participate in the CATCH program. CATCH program entries can be filled in online after being provided a user name and password. 

The CATCH program provides Service members and their adult dependents who have filed a restricted report of sexual assault a new confidential way to provide information about the alleged offender and incident to DOD criminal investigators without initiating an investigation in an effort to identify repeat offenders.

“We encourage anyone who is about to file a restricted report or who has already done so in the past to consider signing up for the CATCH program,” said Dr. Nate Galbreath, acting director of the DOD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. “It’s still an available option even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, takes a short amount of time, and can lead to justice for you and others.” 

Investigators from each Military Criminal Investigative Organization headquarters review entries in the CATCH system and compare them against other CATCH entries and unrestricted reports in other law enforcement databases to identify potential matches.

When a potential match is identified, a specially-trained CATCH point of contact privately notifies the victim, who is given the option to convert his or her restricted report to an unrestricted report and participate in the investigative and military justice process, as appropriate.

Those contributing a report to CATCH decide their level of involvement in the program and can decline to participate anytime, even after a match is identified.

For more information about the CATCH program please visit https://www.sapr.mil/catch.

For support, the DOD Safe Helpline is a hotline dedicated to members of the DOD community affected by sexual assault.  The Safe Helpline offers completely anonymous, confidential, 24/7 support available online at www.safehelpline.org or by calling 877-995-5247.  In addition, the Safe Helpline Mobile App provides access to one-on-one support, peer-to-peer support, information, resources and also access self-care exercises 24/7, worldwide on a mobile device.  Safe Helpline personnel can provide crisis intervention support and refer members to long-term care resources within their local community or via the local SARC or SAPR VA.

Meet some of the sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR) victim advocates from each military service who are ready to assist sexual assault survivors. Learn more here