For over a decade, the Protection Division’s Protected Helpline has supplied a safe place for army survivors of sexual assault and their family members to get help and knowledge 24/7.
The Protected Helpline employees is uniquely educated to offer specialised help to survivors within the army and can assist join service members to assets in the neighborhood, mentioned Nathan Galbreath, performing director of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.
It is not only a referral service, though referrals to different assets are an vital a part of what Safe Helpline does as a part of disaster help, he added. A Protected Helpline consumer can entry one-on-one help, peer-to-peer help, data, assets and self-care workouts to assist restoration.
These in want can contact Protected Helpline by:
These eligible for Protected Helpline companies are:
- Grownup service members within the energetic obligation, Nationwide Guard, or reserve part, in addition to the Coast Guard and their members of the family 18 years of age and older.
- DOD civilian workers and their dependents, age 18 years and older, when workers are stationed or performing duties exterior of america.
- DOD contractors who’re U.S. residents whereas approved to accompany armed forces in a contingency operation exterior of the continental U.S.
The Household Advocacy Program on every set up helps grownup army members of the family who have been sexually assaulted by a partner or intimate accomplice and army members of the family aged 17 and youthful who have been sexual assault victims, Galbreath mentioned.
Calls to the Protected Helpline hotline service are nameless, so the employees doesn’t ask questions to verify eligibility previous to offering help. Galbreath mentioned anybody contacting Protected Helpline will obtain disaster intervention help by Protected Helpline employees.
If, in the course of the dialog, a person signifies she or he is just not affiliated with DOD and never eligible for Protected Helpline companies, the hotline employees will present them with contacts to applicable civilian or army assets. This consists of referral to the 24/7 Nationwide Sexual Assault Hotline for people from civilian communities nationwide.
“Protected Helpline is usually the primary line of contact for survivors in search of help and knowledge after experiencing a Sexual Assault,” mentioned Tanya Banchs, senior sufferer help advisor of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Workplace. “Protected Helpline employees comes from a wide range of backgrounds with a ardour to assist folks. They aren’t inside the army system, so each name is totally nameless and confidential.”
Protected Helpline is usually a primary step within the course of to accessing help for survivors. Following an assault, survivors could also be hesitant to speak to somebody on base for a wide range of causes, together with worry of retaliation, disgrace or guilt, she mentioned.
Speaking to somebody they do not know and who would not know them could also be simpler for survivors who haven’t beforehand disclosed an assault. The anonymity and confidentiality Protected Helpline provides can usually make reaching out for help simpler, Banchs mentioned.
The Protected Helpline employees understands survivors have totally different consolation ranges with totally different responders, and lots of might not be prepared to speak with somebody face-to-face, she mentioned.
For these prepared to attach with somebody face-to-face, employees members can present referrals to on-base assets, together with sexual assault response coordinators, sexual assault prevention and response sufferer advocates, army regulation enforcement, authorized and psychological well being assets, she mentioned. They will additionally present referrals to area people assets.
Protected Helpline has served greater than 200,000 women and men during the last 10 years, offering help or recommendation and a path to therapeutic from sexual assault. Customer quantity has grown steadily over the previous 8 years — from fewer than 5,000 calls or chats throughout fiscal yr 2012 to almost 50,000 in FY 2020, in line with Galbreath.
Protected Helpline conducts an analysis every fiscal yr to measure program effectiveness. The analysis makes use of mixture, non-identifying information to know Protected Helpline consumer traits and the considerations that introduced them to the hotline. This will embody data on whether or not survivors have chosen to report or not report an assault to regulation enforcement or their command, in addition to in the event that they intend to report. It additionally describes the limitations that Protected Helpline customers have recognized that prevented them from reporting. Data from annual evaluations helps the division present obligatory enhancements to be able to frequently present help and companies to survivors, mentioned Galbreath.
The Protected Helpline was launched in 2011 as the results of the Protection Job Power on Sexual Assault within the Army. Suggestion 27 issued in December 2009 endorsed the institution of a common hotline to boost sufferer care and facilitate reporting by victims.
Protected Helpline serves because the division’s sole hotline for DOD members affected by sexual assault.