Information for Responders Working with Survivors
At Safe Helpline, we are committed to supporting sexual assault survivors as well as the SARCs, SAPR VAs and other stakeholders who work with survivors every day. We offer trustworthy resources that you can incorporate into your work with survivors as well as information and tools to help prevent compassion fatigue. You can reach out to us with questions, to look for military and civilian resources or talk through challenges you may be facing as a responder. Below is a listing of some of our services and how they can support you and the survivors you work with.
Our Telephone and Online Helplines operate to support survivors through one-on-one crisis intervention, are available 24/7, and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. At Safe Helpline, our staff is extensively trained to support survivors and empower them to feel comfortable and confident taking the next step in their healing process-whatever that may be. These services work well for those looking for immediate, one-on-one support. Through the telephone helpline, we also offer a warm-handoff option that allows us to connect a survivor to SARCs and other local responders directly once they are ready.
Operating as an online peer-to-peer support service, Safe HelpRoom is unique in that it offers a completely anonymous, confidential, 24/7 platform for survivors of sexual assault to connect with others who have shared similar experiences. Discussions are moderated by Safe Helpline staff so you can feel comfortable knowing that the survivors you refer will be in a safe place to get support. Safe HelpRoom may be especially helpful for your clients who have filed a Restricted Report and may be feeling alone.
Local Safe HelpRoom
To help support the work of local SAPR Programs, Safe Helpline launched a new program, Local Safe HelpRoom which allows D-SAACP certified SARCs or SAPR VAs to host their own local Safe HelpRoom group chats. Once trained, local hosts can offer tailored assistance for their community with an individual topic, convenient time, specific group, and discussion structure of their choosing that best fits the needs of the local population. To learn more about becoming a Local Safe HelpRoom moderator, please visit the Local Safe HelpRoom webpage.
The Responder Database consists of more than 2,500 military and civilian resources around the world. The Responder Database is audited semi-annually and updated regularly by personnel at the SAPR/SHARP Headquarter offices for each Service to ensure the information is accurate and up-to-date. The database can help you know who to contact regardless of if they are on your base, in your Service, or even in your local community.
The Safe Helpline app gives you the ability to access all Safe Helpline services, including the Telephone and Online Helplines, Safe HelpRoom, the Responder and Transitioning Service Member databases and the interactive self-care exercises in one place. We know that working in this field can cause compassion fatigue and the app’s self-care exercises can be used not only for survivors but also to support you and your staff through challenging moments. For example, the app’s deep breathing exercise can help you feel more relaxed if you are feeling nervous, overwhelmed, or tense after a difficult session with a client. And the easy access to the responder database and other Safe Helpline resources make the app a great reference tool when you’re in the field. The Safe Helpline app is free and can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play. (Search: DoD Safe Helpline)
As a responder, you understand that the effects of sexual assault are different based on each survivor’s experience. We’ve put together an overview of what psychological, emotional, and physical effects may look like after an assault, and how everyone’s reactions can be different. Sometimes it helps for a survivor to know that they’re not alone with the effects they’re experiencing. Having this information in one place can be a quick reference for you and for any of the survivors you may be working with.
Safe Helpline offers three unique courses to help those looking for support or information related to sexual assault. Each course was built with a particular audience in mind, but all courses provide valuable information for anyone looking for more information. All three programs can be accessed anonymously, or responders can register to receive one hour of D-SAACP credit through safehelpline.org.
This course seeks to help survivors begin to recover, heal and build resiliency after a sexual assault. Recognizing the effect that trauma can have, this program is part of a comprehensive effort to enhance resilience and improve readiness across the Total Force. This course may be especially helpful for those individuals you work with that are not yet ready to connect directly with anyone or for those that prefer to do their own research before taking the next step.
This program was built with a survivor’s friends, family members, and colleagues in mind. Roughly one in four of the visitors to Safe Helpline who discusses an incident of sexual assault is a friend, family member, colleague, coworker or other concerned party looking for information on how best to support a survivor they know. The How to Support a Survivor program will provide concrete tools that can help these individuals support the course of a survivor’s recovery. This program identifies helping behaviors that support survivors of sexual assault while also educating supporters about behaviors that can be harmful and how to avoid them.
This program provides an overview of Safe Helpline, to include services offered, information about the secure technology platform, and the steps taken to protect the anonymity and confidentiality of users. Most importantly, this training describes how Safe Helpline services augment and support Sexual Assault Response Coordinators and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Victim Advocates (SARC/SAPR VA) in their efforts to meet the needs of sexual assault survivors. The target audience for this training is SARCs, SAPR VAs, and other responders interested in learning more about Safe Helpline.
We recognize that resources can be limited so we offer free outreach materials, a communication toolkit, info-papers, and social media content to help you easily incorporate Safe Helpline into your existing outreach and training. All materials and content are reviewed by and approved by DoD SAPRO for public use. You can order or download everything you need on the Safe Helpline store. If you’re looking for something specific or have questions email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Face-to-Face presentations help us build trust and rapport with stakeholders by demonstrating Safe Helpline services and providing an opportunity to ask specific questions and engage directly with a Safe Helpline staff member. The standard Safe Helpline presentation is approximately one-hour and is available for one D-SAACP CEU for SARCs and VAs. However, we are flexible and can work with you to tailor presentations based on your specific needs and audience. We can also support information tabling and outreach booth events with a Safe Helpline display and host tours of the Safe Helpline office if you are in the Washington, DC, area. We also have limited availability to travel outside of the Washington DC area. You can learn more and submit an event request here.
Find more information on DoD SAPR programs and initiatives at sapr.mil.We thank you for the service you provide to survivors of sexual assault. If you have questions, suggestions or comments about the information on this page, please email email@example.com.