National Guard

 
Special Victims' Counsel

Call Toll Free (844) 468-4917

Provide Legal Support Through Independent Representation

A Special Victim Counsel's (SVC) primary responsibility is to his or her client who was a National Guard member at the time of the offense. SVCs are authorized by law to enter into attorney-client relationships in order to zealously and independently represent their clients.

 

Build and Sustain Victim Resiliency

Through legal advocacy, an SVC will assist their client in building and sustaining a foundation upon which the client may focus on recovery. Whether a victim of sexual assault filed a restricted or unrestricted report, in coordination with a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator or a Victim Advocate, an SVC would be available to assist clients with accessing medical and mental health services. For unrestricted cases, an SVC will further assist their client with obtaining state and federal victim compensation and humanitarian programs; acquiring measures to prevent re-victimization; and to the extent permissible and determined by the client, participating in the investigation and/or disposition of the case.

 

Empower Victims

To empower victims and help with their recovery, SVCs must provide professional and knowledgeable counsel enabling clients to decide the degree of their participation in the investigation and disposition of their case. In return, the client’s informed decision will be the basis of SVC advocacy and legal representation.

 

Who We Are: Who Are The SVCs

National Guard SVC are judge advocates with specialized training to provide legal representation to sexual assault victims who are National Guard members. An SVC’s primary responsibility is to his or her client who was a National Guard member at the time of the offense. SVCs are authorized by law to enter into attorney-client relationships in order to advocate for their client’s interests within the National Guard and other DoD agencies. The scope of an SVC’s representation is bound by State/Federal/Service ethical rules and professional responsibilities, and the Chief of National Guard Bureau Instruction and Manual on the SVC program.

The SVC Program Office within the National Guard Bureau, Office of the Chief Counsel provides functional and policy oversight to SVCs.

Contact the SVC Office: (703) 607-2709

 

Eligibility
Victim Status at the time of the Incident Regional NG SVC Representation
NG member on Title 10 Yes
NG member on Title 32 Yes
NG member on State Active Duty (SAD) National Guard Nexus
NG member not in a duty status National Guard Nexus
Dual-status Technician National Guard Nexus
Non-dual status Technician (No NG membership) National Guard Nexus
Civilian (No NG membership) No
Contractor (No NG membership) No
Active Duty (No NG membership) No
Dependent of NG member Yes, if either the Service or the National Guard has jurisdiction over the alleged perpetrator

 

Scope of Representation

Provide legal assistance to clients prior to and during the criminal or administrative disposition of the sexual assault, including, but not limited to, attending interviews of the victim and interfacing with investigators, military prosecutors, defense counsels, and commanders. SVCs may also provide legal assistance to clients after the case is in post-adjudication phase (e.g., post-trial or after a case is administrative disposed) on issues that have a direct nexus to the sexual assault.

Provide legal assistance to clients with filing an expedited transfer request, military protection order, and interfacing with civil authorities on filing a protective order. Legal representation in a civilian court is not authorized under this program.

Provide legal assistance to clients to ensure access to medical and mental health services, or other issues concerning the client's welfare. Also provide legal assistance to clients with respect to state and federal victim compensation and restitution programs, civilian humanitarian agencies, such as rape crisis centers and shelters.

Provide referral of clients to defense counsel services (e.g., area defense counsels or the National Guard Trial Defense Services) or the American Bar Association Military Pro Bono Project.

 

Regional Map
Regional Map