About Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline
Safe Helpline is the Department of Defense’s (DoD) sole hotline for members of the DoD community affected by sexual assault. Safe Helpline is a completely anonymous, confidential, 24/7, specialized service—providing help and information anytime, anywhere. A Safe Helpline user can access one-on-one support, peer-to-peer support, information, resources, and self-care exercises to aid in their recovery. Since 2011, Safe Helpline has provided support and resources to thousands of members of the DoD community.
Safe Helpline is available worldwide and is operated by RAINN, a national anti-sexual violence organization, through a contract with the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (DoD SAPRO). Safe Helpline works closely with DoD SAPRO, each of the Military Department SAPR offices and the installation-based SAPR programs to ensure that all Safe Helpline users receive the information, support and care they need at every stage of their healing process. To ensure the anonymity of Safe Helpline services, no personally identifiable information about a user will be shared with the DoD or the user’s chain of command. To learn more, visit the How It Works page.
Safe Helpline staff receive highly specialized training on topics including the neurobiology of trauma, working with survivors in the military, as well as the unique needs of male survivors and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ+) community. They are available to listen to a visitor’s needs and concerns, discuss long- and short-term safety planning, provide information about specialized resources and, when they are ready, connect the visitor with local resources such as a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) or SAPR Victim Advocate (VA).
How to access Safe Helpline services?
Safe Helpline provides a number of ways for DoD community members affected by sexual assault to get support and resources.
How to Get Help:
Online Helpline: Access one-on-one, anonymous, and secure support through Safe Helpline’s secure online chat portal.
Telephone Helpline: Speak directly with a Safe Helpline staff member over the phone, 24/7 by calling 877-995-5247. The phone number is the same in the U.S. and worldwide via DSN.
Safe Helpline App: Access a self-care plan and self-care exercises as well as the other Safe Helpline services with an easy-to-use mobile app. You can also call the Telephone Helpline for free from anywhere in the world through the app with an internet connection.
Safe HelpRoom: Connect with and support other survivors of sexual assault through Safe Helpline’s group chat service. Safe Helpline hosts topic-specific Safe HelpRoom twice a month. Sessions are free, online, moderated, and secure. To learn about upcoming sessions, please visit SafeHelpline.org/safe-helproom. Special sessions just for men are also available every Sunday from 1300-1500 ET.
Responders Near Me: Receive information about local and national responders and resources, anytime, anywhere from the website, via text, and on the Safe Helpline app. You can text your zip code or installation to 55-247 (in the U.S.) or +1 571-470-5546 (outside the U.S.) to receive a responder’s contact information. Message and data rates may apply.
Self-paced Educational Programs: Learn more about issues related to sexual assault, the services Safe Helpline offers, and how to support a friend or loved one with Safe Helpline’s self-guided educational programs.
Who does Safe Helpline help?
The services provided by Safe Helpline are available to the DoD community consistent with DoD SAPR Policy, including:
- Adult Service members in the Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserve Component, as well as Coast Guard and their dependents 18 years of age and older.
- DoD civilian employees and their family dependents 18 years of age and older when they are stationed or performing duties outside of the United States.
- U.S. citizen DoD contractor personnel when they are authorized to accompany Armed Forces in a contingency operation OCONUS and their U.S. citizen employees.
Adult military dependent sexual assault victims who are assaulted by a spouse or intimate partner and military dependent sexual assault victims who are 17 years of age and younger are supported through the Family Advocacy Program (FAP). Due to the anonymity of the Safe Helpline hotline service, no questions to confirm eligibility are asked prior to providing support. Therefore, anyone contacting Safe Helpline will receive crisis intervention support by Safe Helpline staff. If, during the conversation, an individual indicates that they are not affiliated with the DoD, and not eligible for Safe Helpline services, hotline staff can provide appropriate civilian or military resources.
Safe Helpline offers services to all Service members and others who are eligible for advocacy and response as applicable within the DoD SAPR program and instructions. Safe Helpline will never deny services to a member of the DoD community, including members of the LGBTQ+ community. Safe Helpline provides inclusive, culturally-relevant services using a survivor-centered and survivor-led approach. This means that the survivor is in control of the direction of the conversation and learning about any additional resources they would like to pursue. Not every survivor comes to the Safe Helpline looking to connect with additional resources, and that’s okay.
DoD SAPRO is responsible for managing Safe Helpline and for the Department’s sexual assault prevention and response programs, policies, and oversight.
SAPRO works hand-in-hand with the Military Services and the civilian community to develop and implement innovative prevention and response programs such as Safe Helpline. The Department strives to increase the number of Service members making an official report of sexual assault by meeting survivors where they are in the recovery process. This improves the likelihood that more survivors will connect to resources that assist in their recovery. The approach focuses on individual resiliency, thereby positively affecting military mission readiness.
The anonymity of the Safe Helpline provides Service members with a "first-step" option to get information, support, and resources on their path to recovery after sexual assault. By providing a high-quality initial response to the needs of survivors, Safe Helpline staff may help build confidence in the reporting process and the Department may ultimately be afforded greater opportunities to hold more offenders appropriately accountable and aid in prevention efforts.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is a national anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, online.rainn.org y rainn.org/es) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.
Links to Services' SAPR or SHARP programs: