Texting Referral Terms of Service

 

About DoD Safe Helpline

Welcome to the DoD Safe Helpline (www.safehelpline.org), operated by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN “we” or “us”).The DoD Safe Helpline is administered by the Department of Defense (DoD) pursuant to a contract with RAINN.

Please note that Safe Helpline is intended for adult Service members in the Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserve Component consistent with DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Policy as well as Coast Guard and Transitioning Service members.

All others should contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) to be connected to your nearest sexual assault service provider.

 

User Safety

IF YOU ARE IN DANGER, CONSIDERING SUICIDE, OR NEED EMERGENCY HELP, CALL 911 (IN THE U.S.), OR YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITIES, NOW.

IF YOU ARE USING A U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE MOBILE DEVICE, PLEASE KNOW THAT YOUR ACTIVITY MAY BE MONITORED OR RECORDED BY DOD.

If you have concerns that your mobile device may be monitored and you do not want others to know that you have contacted Safe Helpline we recommend you locate a safe computer and visit SafeHelpline.org to find resources near you.

If you have concerns that your mobile device may be monitored and you have already used Safe Helpline texting services we recommend you delete the texts you have sent to Safe Helpline as well as the texts you received from Safe Helpline from your device immediately.

To read more about how to delete texts from your device visit the iPhone and Android text-deletion page.

Please be aware that even if you delete texts from your mobile device your carrier may keep or store the texts for an indefinite period of time, and may share the texts with anyone who has access to your account.

DISCLAIMER: Safe Helpline texting services are intended for use only as a referral tool. The texting services are not, intended to be, and should not be used in any way as a substitute for crisis support or professional medical advice. The accuracy of the information provided is not guaranteed.

 

About the Texting Terms of Service

By texting Safe Helpline at 55-247 or 202-470-5546 you agree to follow the rules set forth here. We may, from time to time, make changes to these terms. If we make substantial changes in the way we use your personal information, or to the rights and obligations set forth herein, we will update this page and post a prominent announcement on SafeHelpline.org.

This Texting Terms of Service is intended to describe how RAINN handles information gathered through texts received through 55-247 or 202-470-5546. By texting Safe Helpline you agree to follow the terms and conditions of this Texting Terms of Service.

Your privacy and security are very important to us. The following information will help you understand what information we collect, and how we handle that information once we collect it. This policy will tell you if we disclose that information to anyone, and what choices you have regarding how we use that information. Please note that this Texting Terms of Service applies only to the Safe Helpline at 55-247 or 202-470-5546 and not to any other telephone number or texting service of RAINN or of any other organizations to which we may provide a referral.

 

Personally Identifiable Information

"Personally Identifiable Information" (PII) is information about you that would identify you, such as your name, address, or telephone. The Safe Helpline Texting Service is intended to be a confidential, service and, except as set forth in the Section “Legal Requirements” below, you will NOT be asked to provide your full name, address or e-mail address, at any time during your use of the Safe Helpline Texting Service. In fact, we specifically request, for your own safety and anonymity, that you do NOT provide any such Personally Identifiable Information when you use the Safe Telephone Texting Service. 

Note that while we will not request Personally Identifiable Information in the ordinary course of a texting conversation, trained staffers may ask your location, branch of military service, type of help you are seeking, and service status in order to provide you with referrals for ongoing support. 

The information provided by you to trained staff during your texting conversation is intended to be part of a private conversation between you and the trained staff. It will NOT be recorded, stored, saved, or catalogued by RAINN, other than any information provided that is not Personally Identifiable Information, and which will only be used in aggregate reports.

Additionally, in order to determine usage levels, average texting conversation length, and for other recordkeeping purposes, an entry will be made in a database containing the start and stop time of each texting conversation. 

 

Aggregate Data

We automatically gather, or aggregate, certain usage information, such as the number of Safe Helpline text conversations, number of texts sent, and referrals provided. This data cannot be used to identify you personally and helps us to determine how often Safe Helpline texting is being used, at what times of the day, and other useful statistics. We may use this aggregate data for internal recordkeeping and service improvement purposes, and also may share it with sponsors, supporters, DoD or the media.

 

Texting Service Provider

Please note that while RAINN does not record, store, save, or catalogue any Personally Identifiable Information, our telephone carrier and texting service providers have access to the telephone numbers of our texting service users and may, pursuant to their general policies, store such information for a period of time. This information will not be shared with DoD.

 

Legal Requirements

Notwithstanding our Texting Terms of Service, RAINN trained staff may be forced to disclose information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances. We may be required (and you authorize us) to reveal any information about you that we possess to law enforcement other government officials as we, in our sole discretion, believe is necessary or appropriate in connection with the investigation of a crime, mandatory reporting laws, fraud or other activity that is illegal, or may expose us, or you, to liability.  Additionally, if you are a minor, we may report information to law enforcement or other government officials in connection with the investigation of a crime or other activity that is illegal, and in order to facilitate such a report, we may request Personally Identifiable Information. Such information will be otherwise subject to our Terms of Service and may only be shared with local authorities and the Department of Defense if you are located on a military installation. Also, if RAINN or a trained staffer fears that you are in danger of committing suicide or are 17 years of age or younger, RAINN may be required to disclose whatever information you have provided to the appropriate authorities, including your telephone number. Trained staffers are located in the District of Columbia.  This means that the laws of the District of Columbia apply to your communications with that trained staffer.  Such laws may not protect your communications to the same degree, or in the same way, as the laws of your state.  It is possible that a court of law will not keep private, and may require us to reveal, information that you provide during your texting conversation. 

 

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