Peer Support Through Safe Helpline

The Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline is the Department’s sole crisis support service specially designed for members of the DoD community affected by sexual assault. Safe Helpline is secure, confidential, anonymous, and available 24/7, worldwide. The Safe Helpline staff provides live, one-on-one support to survivors, their families, and other DoD stakeholders. It is operated by RAINN through a contract with the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.

Safe Helpline offers peer support programs to allow military survivors of sexual assault to find connection and healing with others. The concept of peer support is based on the belief that people who have faced, endured, and overcome adversity can offer useful support, encouragement, hope, and mentorship to others facing similar situations. Peer support programs often include self-help, mutual support, and support groups, as well as mentoring. Safe Helpline’s peer support services, Safe HelpRoom and Local Safe HelpRoom, allow military survivors to connect and share resources, coping skills, and experiences, in a moderated format. This article will provide more information about Safe Helpline’s peer support resources, allowing you to explore them for your care or to refer to the survivors you work with.

Safe HelpRoom is Safe Helpline’s safe and anonymous peer-to-peer support service. On Safe HelpRoom, available via our website and the Safe Helpline mobile app, survivors can connect with one another to discuss their experiences, healing journeys, resources, and more. Safe Helpline hosts topic-specific group chats each month. We created Safe HelpRoom because we know there are unsafe places online, and survivors in the DoD community deserve a safe space to find connection and healing with others. Staff moderators help ensure that all users on the Safe HelpRoom remain safe and do not share any personal information. Safe HelpRoom offers a variety of topic-specific sessions, including Coping After Sexual Violence, Sexual Assault Disclosure and Planning, and Open Forums for support. Safe HelpRoom also offers sessions for male survivors every week on Sundays from 1300 to 1500 Eastern Time.

Local Safe HelpRoom puts Safe HelpRoom technology in the hands of local SAPR service providers to conduct peer support group chat sessions according to the needs of survivors on their base or installation and reduce barriers to accessing resources at the local level. SARCs and SAPR VAs can register to become moderators of Local Safe HelpRoom chats. Moderators are responsible for monitoring, approving, editing, and denying messages as well as creating a safe online space for survivors to connect. D-SAACP certified SARCs and SAPR VAs, as well as Coast Guard SARCs and SAPR VAs who are NACP certified, can register to become Local Safe HelpRoom moderators at After you submit your registration information and your credential is verified, you can access the Local Safe HelpRoom moderator training. Once complete, you can start hosting sessions for your community.

While both Safe HelpRoom and Local Safe HelpRoom are peer support services that support survivors throughout their healing journeys, there are some important differences between the two. First, Safe HelpRoom is moderated by Safe Helpline staff members, where Local Safe HelpRoom is moderated by local D-SAACP certified moderators. Safe HelpRoom is available on the Safe Helpline website for topic-specific sessions throughout the month, whereas Local Safe HelpRoom is only available when a local moderator schedules a session for their installation/base. Finally, Safe HelpRoom sessions are open to all and can be joined by anyone from the Safe Helpline website and mobile app. Local Safe HelpRoom sessions can be created to serve any local audience who would benefit from peer support and can only be joined by participants who have the session link. This link can be shared with a larger group or a few individual participants.

Safe Helpline is proud to offer peer support options to survivors in the DoD community. To learn more about the peer support services available, visit the Safe Helpline website or reach out to for an informational briefing.

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