Take a Tour of an Online Session

Terms of Service
The Terms of Service outlines important information about your privacy and safety when using the Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline.

Waiting Room
The waiting room has lots of recovery tips and resources to review while you wait to begin your online session. You can also access the Safe HelpRoom, a safe, secure, online peer support service.

Safe Helpline Online Session
Once a trained Safe Helpline staff member is available, click “Go Chat” to begin your online session.

Anonymous Feedback
When your online session is complete, you will be asked to complete a feedback survey rating your experience. We value your feedback!

Computer Safety
Learn how we protect your anonymity, and how you can make your own computer safer.

Terms of Service

We have designed Safe Helpline with your privacy and safety as the top priority. Before beginning an online session, you must read and agree to our Terms of Service, which includes:

  • User Agreement
  • Privacy Policy
  • User Safety Procedures

Waiting Room

After you accept the Terms of Service, you will go to the waiting room while you wait for a trained Safe Helpline staff member to begin your session. The wait time is usually just a few minutes, but may be longer during times of high demand.

Go Chat Button
Once the “Go Chat” button appears,
click it to begin your session

While you're waiting, you can click on the articles to learn more about sexual assault. A new window will open, and this will not increase your wait time.

When we're ready to start your session, the left side of your screen will change to green. When this happens, please click the “Go Chat” button to start your session.


While you are waiting you can click on different resources and articles. You will not lose your place in line.

Your Online Session

After clicking the “Go Chat” button, a chat box will appear and your session will begin. Chatting on Safe Helpline is the same as other forms of instant messaging — just type in the box and click “Send” or hit return.

You'll notice that we never ask for your name or location. That way, you will remain completely anonymous. We also don't store a transcript of your chat, so no one can view it later.

While you're chatting, a window will open up behind your chat window that allows you to provide feedback at the end of your session, so you can ignore it for now (feel free to minimize it).

To end your session at any time, just click the red “End Chat” button located at the bottom left hand corner of the chat window.

With Whom Am I Chatting?

Your session is a live, one-on-one chat with a crisis support-trained Safe Helpline staff member. All Safe Helpline staff also have received specialized training to help members of the DoD community.

Safe Helpline staff has successfully completed mandated state training, and receive clinical supervision and ongoing support from professional supervisors. Supervisors also monitor sessions for quality control.


To provide the best service possible on the Safe Helpline, we need your help. Please complete our quick survey at the end of your online session.

About the Survey

  • We do not ask for any personally identifiable information and the survey is completely anonymous.
  • There are only six questions, and it should take no more than one minute to complete.

Computer Safety

Our top priority is your safety. Because of that, we designed Safe Helpline from the ground up, so that you can remain completely anonymous and your online session with Safe Helpline staff is confidential.

How We Made Safe Helpline Secure and Anonymous

  • We do not capture your IP (computer) address once you decide to chat. This means that we will have no record that you were ever here.
  • We do not save a transcript of your online session. Once you close your chat window, that text is not retrievable.
  • We encrypt all of the data. Every time someone hits "send," the words are encrypted using 128-bit SSL technology. That way, the text cannot be intercepted and read while in transit. This is the same level of security that banks generally use to handle transactions.
  • We built Safe Helpline using special anonymous routing methods that obscure the connection between you and our staff via the use of unique codes.
  • While RAINN operates the Safe Helpline under contract from the Department of Defense (DoD), we will not share any personally identifiable information about your visit with the Department or your chain of command, unless required by law. To learn more, visit the Terms of Service Full Text of Agreements "How We May Share Information" section.

Is Safety Guaranteed?

No. We have done everything possible to ensure your safety, but we cannot guarantee that someone will not invent a way to circumvent these protections. While we can't eliminate every risk, we have greatly minimized the risks and made it as safe to use as a telephone helpline.

There's one more thing you can do to make it safe. Your computer may store traces of your visit to our site (we have no access to your computer, so we can't control what it stores). So, if you are concerned about others knowing that you visited Safe Helpline, please visit this link where we provide instructions on how to clear your browser's usage history and cache.

Also keep in mind that if you are using a DoD or other work related computer, your employer may be able to track your usage of this and other websites.