The Defense department of the United States started a website “SafeHelpline.org” in April, 2011 for the support and help of sexual assault victims in the defense community. The department of Defense in partnership with RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), which is the nation’s largest anti-violence sexual organization, provides an absolute confidential service for the victims. The service is available for 24×7, 365 days. This helpline is available for all adult Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard members coming under the DoD SAPR policy (Department of Defense (DoD) sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR) policy). This wonderful step taken by the defense department has been successful to encourage millions of victims to come forward, and receive care and support to build up their self confidence once again.
The helpline of “SafeHelpline.org” can be used in three different ways:
The first way is an online method. In this method, visit www.SafeHelpline.org and get live, one-on-one confidential help from a trained professional through an online chat session. Before starting an online session, you will be asked to agree the terms of service after reading them completely. After the acceptation, you will be diverted to the waiting room for few minutes until a trained SafeHelpline professional is ready for you. While waiting, you can refer other articles to know more about sexual assault and for this the waiting time will not be affected.
When the left side of the screen turns into green, hit on “Go Chat” option to start the online session. A chat box will appear on the screen. The chatting format is same as other instant messaging, just type your comment and press “Send” or hit return. The chat will remain completely secret. During the chatting session, the SafeHelpline never asks for name or location of the victim. They don’t even store a transcript of the chat, so that no one can view them later on. Click “End Chat” button to end your chat session at any time. After the session is completed, you will be asked to answer six questions as a part of the survey.
The second way is through phone. You can take help of the SafeHelpline any time from any where in the world by just dialing 877-995-5247. The contact number remains the same inside the U.S. or on using the Defense Switched Network (DSN). When contacting from DSN, to enable a direct dialing capability, there are 4 toll free codes – 800, 888, 866, and 877. DSN users can use the US toll free numbers by simply dialing 94 with the 10-digit number. In this service, the victims can talk with the SafeHelpline trained professionals and get advice and support. On your request, the SafeHelpline staff can also transfer your calls to civilian rape crisis centers, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARCs) or On-call SAPR Victim Advocates (VAs).
In the third way, the SafeHelpline provide help through texting to your cell phone. To get the use of this facility, text your zip code, installation or base name and send it to 55-247 for people residing inside the U.S. or to 202-470-5546 for those residing outside of the U.S. On receiving your text message, the SafeHelpline will text back you with contact information for the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) on your base or installation.