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I Think I Was Sexually Assaulted

Safe Helpline - Call 877-995-5247


If you have been, or think you may have been sexually assaulted recently:

  • Go to a safe location away from the perpetrator.
  • Preserve all evidence of the assault, if possible
  • Do not bathe, wash your hands or brush your teeth.
  • Do not eat or drink (eating and drinking may compromise forensic evidence collection during a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam [SAFE]).
  • If you are still in the location in which the crime occurred, do not clean, straighten up or remove anything from the crime scene.
  • If you have already changed your clothes, place them in a paper bag.
  • Write down or record by any other means all the details you can recall about the assault and the perpetrator.

Report a Sexual Assault

Seek medical care as soon as possible

  • Even if you do not have any visible physical injuries, you may be at risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or becoming pregnant.
  • Ask the healthcare personnel to conduct a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) to preserve forensic evidence. Regardless of which reporting option you choose you have the right to have this exam. When making a restricted report, the SAFE kit will be held for up to 12 months without being processed. With an unrestricted report, the investigative process is initiated and the kit will be used as evidence.
  • If you suspect you have been drugged, inform the health care personnel so they can administer the correct tests.

Regardless of how you choose to report sexual assault, you will be offered a full range of advocacy, medical and counseling services.

Remember: there is no “right” or “wrong” way to recover from a sexual assault. There are, however, thoughts and emotions that are typically experienced by victims of sexual assault, such as shock, fear, confusion or feeling out of touch with reality. You may also experience feelings of denial, depression, self-blame or a sense of loss. These are all normal reactions to the traumatic experience of sexual assault.

DoD Safe Helpline

Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline is a crisis support service for members of the DoD community affected by sexual assault. Safe Helpline provides live, one-on-one support and information to the worldwide DoD community. The service is anonymous, secure, and available 24/7 — providing victims with the help they need, anytime and anywhere. DoD Safe Helpline also provides online support groups via Safe Helpline.

Specially-trained Safe Helpline staff provides help three ways:

  • Online - The Online Safe Helpline provides live, confidential help through a secure instant-messaging format at The Safe HelpRoom also provides group chat services that allow sexual assault survivors in the military to connect with, and support, one another in a moderated and secure online environment. Safe HelpRoom sessions have a moderator who can provide referrals and help keep the conversation focused on the designated session topic and a review that can make sure all participants adhere to the Ground Rules.
  • Telephone - Victims who prefer to get help by phone can call the Safe Helpline at 877-995-5247 from any phone (commercial or DSN worldwide) to speak with Safe Helpline staff for personalized support and information. Safe Helpline staff can also transfer callers to installation Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Victim Advocates (SAPR VAs), Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARCs), civilian rape crisis centers or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK [8255]).
  • SMS/Text Message - Victims, who are seeking contact information for the SAPR VA or SARC on their installation, can text their zip code or installation name to 55-247 (inside the U.S.) or 202-470-5546 (outside the U.S.), and Safe Helpline staff will text back the requested contact information.

Safe Helpline is operated by the 
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) in partnership with more than 1,100 local rape crisis centers nationwide. RAINN also runs the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline ( Together, the hotlines have helped more than 1.5 million people since 1994. Hotline services are free, confidential, and available 24/7.

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