Late Breaking News
Sexual Assault Victims Now Can ‘Click, Call or Text’ to Access DoD Services
- Categorized in: June 2011
Military victims of sexual assault have new options for getting support. They can just “click, call or text” victim support services 24-hours a day, seven days a week, according to DoD.
The helpline, accessible worldwide, is free and anonymous and can be used by a victim or someone acting on behalf of the victim. DoD officials said they hope that the new service will help more victims report sexual assault and seek the care they need.
“The underreporting of sexual assault poses a serious challenge to military readiness,” Clifford L. Stanley, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, said in a statement. “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.”
Troops can access Safe Helpline in three ways. Users can log on to www.SafeHelpline.org to receive live, one-on-one help through a secure instant-messaging format. A second option is to call the telephone hotline at 877-995-5247 to speak with Safe Helpline staff. Safe Helpline staff can also transfer callers to installation-based sexual assault response coordinators (SARC), 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 SARC at their installation or base.
Medical centers can inform beneficiaries about the new helpline with materials found at www.safehelpline.org/