New Resource from DoD Safe Helpline

Safe Helpline has developed a new resource to support survivors of sexual assault in the Department of Defense community. Building Hope & Resiliency: Addressing the Effects of Sexual Assault is a self-guided, online, educational program that seeks to help individuals begin to recover, heal, and build resiliency within themselves after a sexual assault.

“Research shows that some Service members, including cadets and midshipmen, have experienced sexual abuse and sexual assault prior to joining the military,” explains Scott Berkowitz, President and Founder of RAINN. “This program is specifically designed to support and empower those survivors but will benefit anyone that has been affected by sexual violence.”

Recognizing the effect that trauma can have on an individual’s performance, this program is part of a comprehensive effort to enhance individual and collective resilience and improve readiness across the Total Force. Users of the program will leave with an increased understanding of how a sexual assault may affect a survivor, and exercises and techniques to help reduce anxiety and enhance a survivor’s ability to cope with the short and long-term effects of sexual assault.

The program is designed to be completed at the user’s pace and features definitions, helpful information about coping mechanisms, practical relaxation exercises, and links to resources and referrals for ongoing support. Also included is a brief, optional self-assessment for users to gauge how effective their current coping strategies are and whether they may benefit from additional support and resources.

This program complements the existing Safe Helpline services as it provides an additional resource for those who have experienced sexual assault prior to joining the military.

Building Hope & Resiliency: Addressing the Effects of Sexual Assault is available 24/7 on or through the Safe Helpline App.

Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline provides confidential crisis support and information for members of the DoD community affected by sexual assault. Safe Helpline services are provided by the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) and are operated through a contract with RAINN. Safe Helpline provides no personally identifiable information to the DoD or military chain of command.

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