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Defense Dept. Sponsors Anonymous Internet Chatting for Sexual Assault Victims

7:33 AM, May 31, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The Defense Department announced that it's sponsoring anonymous Internet chat groups for sexual assault victims, according to Defense.gov. The announcement comes after a string of high-profile sexual assaults among military personnel. 

The Pentagon US Department of Defense building

"In response to a need for peer support services identified by users of the Defense Department’s Safe Helpline for sexual assault victims, Pentagon officials have launched the Safe HelpRoom, a new service that allows victims to participate in group chat sessions to connect with and support one another in a moderated and secure online environment," reads the article.

"The Safe HelpRoom is available at http://SafeHelpline.org, officials said, noting that the moderator can provide referrals as necessary and will ensure that chat postings adhere to all ground rules."

Acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness Jessica L. Wright tells the military publication, "Survivors of sexual assault have told us that being able to discuss their concerns with peers can provide a level of support not available through other means. ... Safe HelpRoom is a groundbreaking development in the department's commitment to support military victims of sexual assault."

The help is not provided by the Defense Department, but by an outside group. "The Safe HelpRoom and Safe Helpline are administered by the Defense Department and operated by the nonprofit organization Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, the nation's largest anti-sexual-violence organization, through a contract with DOD’s sexual assault prevention and response office, known as SAPRO."

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