ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. — Sexual assault victims now have a way to network with other survivors from the privacy of their own homes, thanks to the launch of a DoD chat service called Safe HelpRoom.
Part of the Department of Defense’s ongoing fight against sexual assault among the ranks of service members and DOD civilians, Safe HelpRoom is an online chat program which increases the ways victims can collectively cope with their experiences.
“Safe HelpRoom is a brand-new service provided through the (DOD) Safe Helpline,” said Kelly Dominguez, 28th Bomb Wing sexual assault response coordinator at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. “It was created to provide military personnel with an avenue to get help while remaining anonymous.”
Two-hour chat sessions are held twice a week, with the date, starting time and topic posted on the Safe Helpline website, www.safehelpline.org .
“For example, a military member can access Safe Helpline over the phone or through a chat session online and get resources from a trained professional,” Dominguez said. “They can also get contact information for the closest Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office.”
Discussions are moderated to guarantee a safe environment conducive to support, and to give participants a point of contact for referral questions.
“Someone who calls in or enters a chat does not have to provide any personal information, but is able to access a staff that is trained on the unique needs of DOD community members,” Dominguez noted.
For more information about Safe HelpRoom, visit www.safehelpline.org/about-safe-helproom, or call the Safe Helpline at (877) 995-5247.
“The DOD Safe Helpline is a great resource for victims of sexual assault to turn to if they aren’t sure what to do or who to talk to,” Dominguez added.