DOD Launches Sexual Assault Response Helpline

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2011 — Defense Depart­ment offi­cials today launched the Pentagon’s newest ini­tia­tive to sup­port vic­tims of sex­u­al assault.
The DOD Safe Helpline allows ser­vice mem­bers to click, call or text for vic­tim sup­port ser­vices for them­selves or oth­ers.

The resource is free, anony­mous and con­fi­den­tial. Those who need the ser­vice will con­nect with live sex­u­al assault sup­port pro­fes­sion­als. It is live 24 hours a day, every day.

In addi­tion to improv­ing vic­tim care, offi­cials designed the Safe Helpline to be secure and con­fi­den­tial to encour­age vic­tims to come for­ward when they might not oth­er­wise.

“The under­re­port­ing of sex­u­al assault pos­es a seri­ous chal­lenge to mil­i­tary readi­ness,” said Clif­ford L. Stan­ley, under­sec­re­tary of defense for per­son­nel and readi­ness. “We believe the Safe Helpline will pro­vide DOD sex­u­al assault vic­tims with a vari­ety of sup­port out­lets, which will lead vic­tims to report sex­u­al assault, seek need­ed infor­ma­tion, and receive care.”

Safe Helpline offers three access options designed for ser­vice mem­bers. Users can go to http://SafeHelpline.org to receive live, one-on-one con­fi­den­tial help with a trained pro­fes­sion­al through a secure instant-mes­sag­ing for­mat. The web­site also pro­vides vital infor­ma­tion about recov­er­ing from and report­ing sex­u­al assault.

A sec­ond option is to call the tele­phone hot­line at 877–995-5247 to speak with Safe Helpline staff for per­son­al­ized advice and sup­port. Safe Helpline staff also can trans­fer callers to instal­la­tion-based sex­u­al assault response coor­di­na­tors, on-call vic­tim advo­cates, civil­ian rape cri­sis cen­ters or to the Sui­cide Pre­ven­tion Life­line.

The third option is for users to text their loca­tion to 55247 inside the Unit­ed States or 202–470-5546 out­side of the Unit­ed States to receive auto­mat­ed con­tact infor­ma­tion for the sex­u­al assault response coor­di­na­tor at their instal­la­tion or base.

For more infor­ma­tion on the Defense Department’s sex­u­al assault pre­ven­tion and response office, go to http://www.sapr.mil.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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