RAINN Helps Victims of Sexual Assault in the Military Through Groundbreaking Service for Department of Defense
Victims of sexual assault in the U.S. military have a new lifeline for confidential support: the DoD Safe Helpline, operated by RAINN through a contract with the Department of Defense (DoD). Safe Helpline will provide live, one-on-one crisis intervention, emotional support, advice and information to the DoD community worldwide by phone and online, as well as referral information by text message.
While RAINN is operating the helpline for DoD, RAINN is required to keep all communications strictly anonymous and confidential. That means that no personally-identifying information will ever be shared with DoD or the helpline user’s chain-of-command.
“It is great to see the Department of Defense taking this bold step to help victims of sexual assault,” said Scott Berkowitz, president and founder of RAINN. “With Safe Helpline, DoD is making a major effort to provide the very best care and recovery assistance to those who need — and deserve —help.”
Available globally, users can get help by phone (the toll-free number, 877-995-5247 works in the U.S. and worldwide on every military base or installation); or online at SafeHelpline.org. Users can also receive referral information for the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator on their base or installation by texting their location to 55247 (in the U.S.) or 202-470-5546 (outside the U.S.).
Jennifer Marsh, director of the National Sexual Assault Hotline, notes the extensive training RAINN has provided to more than 40 new staff members who will work on the Safe Helpline: “It is critical to have a civilian-operated service where staff members have been trained on issues related to sexual assault in the military. This new service will allow DoD community members to receive the help that they deserve anytime, anywhere.”