Lawmakers Making a Difference
Each month, RAINN recognizes members of the U.S. Congress whose efforts have helped reduce sexual violence or improved the lives of sexual violence victims. The Lawmakers Making a Difference program recognizes congressional and senatorial support of sexual violence issues, bipartisan efforts, and leadership in pursuing legislation.
“These federal legislators are RAINN's indispensable partners on Capitol Hill...Their leadership and hard work...have led to a significant reduction in sexual violence and the expansion of victims' services over the last decade.
U.S. House of Representatives
"Preventing sexual assault is an important cause that every American should learn more about and find ways to support. As the largest anti-sexual assault organization in America, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network is an outstanding organization that helps millions of helpless victims through counseling for women and influencing policy and, as a member of Congress and an American, I am proud to support this compassionate program." ~ Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-AL)
“As a longtime supporter of initiatives that assist victims of crime and abuse, I share RAINN’s commitment to empowering victims of sexual assault and providing them with the support necessary to find safety and peace of mind. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to fund groups likes RAINN and provide law enforcement with the tools necessary to pursue justice on behalf of those who have been abused. I am confident that in working together we will continue to improve safety in all of our communities.”
~ Congressman Leonard Boswell (D-IA)
"I share RAINN's commitment to helping survivors of sexual violence. It is vital that we work together on all fronts to ensure that victims of these violent crimes receive the support that they deserve and that perpetrators are put behind bars. Improving public policy, increasing awareness of the long-term effects of sexual assault, and supporting RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotlines are important ways that we can both support survivors and reduce the number of sexual assaults across the country."
~ Congressman John Boehner (R-OH)
"RAINN is a valued national resource which supports and empowers victims of sexual and domestic violence. I applaud its work and I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the SAFER Act (H.R. 1523 — endorsed by RAINN). I look forward to a continued partnership with RAINN in our fight to keep all safe from sexual violence and raising awareness about this critical issue."
~ Congressman Bob Brady (D-PA)
“RAINN provides critical services to survivors of sexual abuse. In countless cases, the services provided by RAINN literally save lives. I am proud to support RAINN as it continues its mission to serve those who have been abused and raise awareness to end the cycle of violence.”
~ Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA)
"I am proud to work with RAINN to help victims of sexual violence, which is an issue I care deeply about. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I am happy to have RAINN as an ally, as we work diligently to bring up and hopefully pass this important legislation next Congress that will benefit victims and help them on their way to self-recovery.”
~ Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA)
“Every two minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted,” said Congressman Cohen. “RAINN provides victims of sex abuse with the help they need to recover. Their services are free, safe and confidential. We must do everything in our power to end sex abuse, and that is why I am committed to working with RAINN to expand victim’s rights and make our communities safer through their awareness, support and prevention programs.”
~ Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN)
“As a co-founder of the Congressional Victims Rights’ Caucus, I commend RAINN for the critical services they provide to victims of sexual violence and their role in educating our youth about the dangers of sexual assault. I look forward to continuing to partner with RAINN in the 111th Congress to advance our mutual goals of prevention, education, and support.”
~ Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA)
"RAINN is an indispensable leader in our nationwide struggle against sexual assault, domestic abuse, and all forms of sexual violence. Whether it is the free and confidential services provided to victims of these heinous crimes or the public education campaigns that prevent violence and save lives, RAINN is committed to making our communities and our nation safer."
~ Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL)
"Groups such as RAINN lead the dialogue and direction toward policy change to stop sexual violence. I am proud to stand with them. As the lead Democrat on the House Military Personnel Subcommittee, I have worked with my colleagues to put an end to sexual assaults in our military ranks. We have begun to put a system in place that ensures that the victims of a sexual assault receive all the support they need, establishes a sense of justice, and changes the climate toward this problem."
~ Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA)
"I commend RAINN for being a national leader in the prevention of sexual abuse and for the extraordinary support and services they provide victims of sexual abuse. The services RAINN provides victims helps them overcome the trauma of this heinous crime. I look forward to working with RAINN to do all we can to educate the public about sexual abuse and help sexual abuse victims."
~ Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL)
“Having worked on violence prevention for many years, I applaud RAINN for raising awareness and increasing services for victims of violent crime. With the upcoming reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), it is important to recognize the critical safety net services provided to survivors of sexual assault by organizations such as RAINN.”
~ Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-MD)
"Too often in cases of sexual assault the victims feel as though they have no place to go. The safe haven that RAINN has set up through the 24/7 National Sexual Assault Hotline is an invaluable resource. In addition to the hotline, RAINN works to prevent individuals from becoming victims in the first place. Through education and advocacy they are reducing the incidence of sexual assault and providing safe havens for victims nationwide. I applaud them for their good work."
~ Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO)
“"RAINN goes beyond just raising awareness by engaging in important public policy debates and providing important tools to fight sexual assault. I am pleased to join with RAINN and colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advocate on behalf of the victims of sexual violence. HR 1523 will be an important tool in this fight by helping ensure the accurate and efficient use of DNA evidence."
~ Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
“I truly appreciate the work that RAINN does to raise awareness about sexual violence. It is so important for victims of abuse to know that they have a place to go for information and support, which is exactly what RAINN provides with their national help hotlines and counseling resources. I’m proud to say that I work with RAINN, and will continue to support them in their mission to prevent sexual violence and provide the help that victims need.”
~ Congresswoman Sue Myrick (R-NC)
"I stand with RAINN in my commitment to making sure victims of sexual violence are given the help they need to recover. We must do everything we can to reduce sexual assaults, protect the innocent and make sure the perpetrators of these awful crimes are brought to justice. This is a cause that everyone in America should understand and support."
~ Congressman Tom Latham (R-IA)
"As a lifelong advocate of women's rights and opportunity, I am committed to preventing sexual violence, supporting survivors, and holding perpetrators accountable. RAINN is a valued partner and trusted ally in our shared effort to accomplish these critical goals. I will continue working with survivors of sexual violence and committed advocates like RAINN to enact public policies that make our community safer."
~ Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY)
“I commend RAINN's commitment to helping survivors of sexual violence. Society must resolve to protect, to the fullest extent possible, our citizens from sexual assault and other violence. It is critical that Congress work together to ensure that victims of these violent crimes receive the support that they need and deserve. I will continue to support efforts at the federal level to prevent and raise awareness about sexual violence.”
~ Congressman Todd Platts (R-PA)
“Love never comes with black eyes and bruises. As a founder and co-chair of the Victims’ Rights Caucus and a lifetime advocate for victims, I am proud to support RAINN in their efforts to be a voice for victims of sexual violence. I look forward to working with RAINN to raise awareness about the dangers of sexual assault and advocate for victims of these terrible crimes.”
~ Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX)
"RAINN continues to be a great partner in our shared mission to eradicate sexual assault from our communities, and ensure every victim has the support needed to recover from the pain associated with these crimes. As a former Sheriff, I have seen firsthand the impact forensic DNA can have on bringing criminals to justice and peace of mind to victims and their families. I will continue to work with RAINN to identify and implement solutions that enable law enforcement officials to more quickly collect and process DNA samples in the pursuit of justice. Together, we will continue to work toward a world free of sexual violence."
~ Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA)
"I share the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network's (RAINN) commitment to raising awareness about the devastating impact of sexual violence and providing support and guidance to victims of this heinous crime. In matters of sexual abuse, there is no standard victim. It affects people from all walks of life, and individuals of every race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and socioeconomic background. I am honored to work with RAINN to ensure that victims of sexual violence are given the help they need and I remain committed to ending sexual violence in our communities."
~ Congresswoman Laura Richardson (D-CA)
“I salute RAINN for the national leadership role it has taken in support of the victims of sexual assault. Their everyday work makes a huge difference in the lives of people who, more often than not, have no voice and who struggle daily with the atrocious acts committed against them. There is no place in today’s society for sexual assault or abuse, but unfortunately they take place, so we are fortunate to have an organization such as RAINN ready to take the lead and make a difference. Without a doubt, their yeomen’s work is critical and important to the victims they so honorably help.”
~ Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
"Throughout my career, I have fought to increase protections for survivors of sexual violence and to ensure that we hold perpetrators accountable. I am continuing that mission by building support for the SAFER Act, a vital step in our efforts to reduce the backlog of untested rape kits. I commend Private Practice actress KaDee Strickland and RAINN for their work on behalf of victims of sexual violence and look forward to working with them to advance the SAFER Act."
~ Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
“As a former prosecutor, I’m proud to work with RAINN to ensure law enforcement officials have the tools they need to fight sexual assault and pursue justice for victims. Passing the SAFER Act is critical to processing DNA evidence accurately and efficiently and putting criminals behind bars."
~ Congressman Tom Rooney (R-FL)
“I am proud to have secured federal funds to help RAINN connect with victims of sexual abuse and violence. Often, these victims do not know where to turn for help and the people at RAINN are there to offer them instant care, support and hope amid a horrific crisis."
~ Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD)
Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) is the newly elected Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. Upon receiving RAINN's Congressional Crime Fighter Award, Sensenbrenner said, "While Congress can make tough laws to help catch and incarcerate sexual offenders, groups like RAINN can provide support and assistance to the victims and their families in order to help them get their lives back together as best they can."
"RAINN is an essential social service agency in our nation without which many victims of rape, abuse and incest would fall through the cracks in society. Your dedication means victims of these horrific crimes will continue to have a strong advocate on their side. No victim should ever have to go through such an experience with no one to turn to for help. I co-sponsored the SAFER Act because I believe it will reduce the DNA backlog while also empowering victims to monitor the progress of the forensic evidence in their own case online. I look forward to continuing to work with RAINN to raise awareness and help further prevent such heinous violent acts from occurring in the first place."
~Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL)
“The tragic developments at Penn State University have weighed heavy on our hearts, and as our community moves forward and these individuals and their families continue to cope with adversity and pain, we look to continue to raise awareness of abuse and provide victims nation-wide with solace in the fact that they are not alone. RAINN continues to play a vital role for our community in its time of need, lending a helping hand through their services to those that have fallen prey to heinous acts. It is important to know they have a place to go for information and support, and I want thank RAINN for their work to reduce and prevent future sexual assaults in this community and others across the nation.”
~ Congressman Glenn 'GT' Thompson (R-PA)
"Underreporting of sexual assault in the military is a very serious problem. With the expertise of RAINN, the DoD Safe Helpline will provide an invaluable service to members of the Armed Forces by providing an anonymous venue for service members to report this crime and get help."
~Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D-MA)
"The DoD Safe Helpline, which will be operated through the support of RAINN, is something I've always advocated for a number of years. Our servicemembers who have been tragically affected by sexual assault will now have an anonymous forum where they can get help in their hour of need, while protecting their identity. I greatly appreciate RAINN's continued support in providing this invaluable asset to our men and women in uniform."
~ Congressman Mike Turner (R-OH)
"In addition to RAINN's outreach and education efforts to the general public, RAINN continues to be a trusted source of information and resources for members of Congress seeking to prevent sexual assault and strengthen laws against those that commit these heinous crimes. I also commend RAINN's continued service to victims of sexual assault through their National Sexual Assault Hotline. Having the ability to privately discuss such a personal and traumatic experience with trained professionals is the first step in a road to recovery for thousands of individuals."
~ Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
"It is because of organizations like RAINN, that women are rebuilding their lives with strength, dignity and the confidence to speak out. RAINN is a powerful voice in what for too many years has been a silent secret. I am proud to support HR 1523- The SAFER Act- which calls for the creation of a national DNA database which will help solve the crimes of sexual assault cases that have remained unsolved. Without RAINN, such important pieces of legislation would not be possible."
~ Congressman Allen West (R-FL)
“Victims of rape and sexual assault are at much greater risk of depression, substance abuse, and suicide. It’s essential that that survivors of sexual violence have access to counseling and support services to help them cope with such a traumatic event, and I applaud RAINN’s efforts to ensure victims in need have a place they can turn to for support and treatment.”
~ Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA)
“RAINN is a critical ally in the fight to help victims of sexual assault and violence. I share their commitment to eradicating these heinous crimes by providing survivors with a vast network of support and resources to ensure that they are kept safe and have the tools to recover emotionally and physically. As a long-time advocate against sexual violence, I look forward to continuing to work with RAINN on efforts to bolster prevention, education, and enforcement to ensure a safe and healthy environment for women and families in Connecticut and across the country.”
~ Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
“Victims of violence shouldn’t have to wait for justice. Unfortunately, the current rape kit backlog forces them to do just that—and sometimes it prevents justice altogether. That’s simply not acceptable. The SAFER Act will target the backlog and strengthen the tools available to law enforcement so they can work more quickly and efficiently to bring offenders to justice. I look forward to continuing to work with RAINN to move this critical piece of legislation forward.”
~ Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO)
“RAINN has helped millions of victims deal with the devastating trauma of rape and incest and has saved countless more from suffering sexual assault through their prevention programs. As a lawmaker, I’m proud to support an organization that gives voice to victims, enables these women and children to heal, and helps strengthen laws against the criminals of these horrendous crimes.”
~ Senator Kit Bond (R-MO)
“I thank RAINN for their vital role in working to prevent sexual assault, assist assault victims, and bring those to justice who perpetrate these heinous acts. Sexual assault is intolerable, and those responsible should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I am proud to cosponsor the SAFER Act, which is supported by RAINN. I am hopeful this bill will become law soon so we can bring closure to rape cases and prevent further sexual assault.”
~ Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)
“We must do all we can to prevent sexual violence from occurring, to help victims receive the help and support they need and to punish the perpetrators of these crimes. Since my days in state government, I have advocated on behalf of the victims of sexual assault. I am grateful to RAINN's shared commitment to this work. I look forward to working with RAINN to pass legislation such as the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and passage of the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act.”
~ Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)
“I commend RAINN for its dedicated efforts to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault, and its commitment to raising public awareness about these critical issues. RAINN is a national leader in providing vital resources and services to abuse survivors and helps ensure that they get the help and support they need. I will continue to support efforts at the federal level to prevent and raise awareness about sexual violence.”
~ Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
"Sexual assault is an evil that thrives in darkness. When we shine light on these horrific acts by educating the public, empowering the victims, and punishing the offenders, we can help break the cycle of abuse. I share RAINN’s commitment to empowering victims of sexual assault and will continue working to help ensure we are doing all we can to prevent crimes, support survivors and bring perpetrators to justice."
~ Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)
"RAINN's great work cannot be overstated and should not be overlooked. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have been proud to work closely with RAINN to support multiple pieces of legislation that target the perpetrators of sexual violence and protect the victims of these terrible crimes. I look forward to continuing this important partnership with RAINN in the years to come."
~ Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)
"In our individual and collective efforts to combat sexual violence, nothing is more vital than groups like RAINN who provide the crucial services to our communities, offering safety and healing for victims and their children and raising awareness of the negative consequences of sexual abuse across the nation. As an ardent supporter of efforts to increase awareness and ultimately prevent sexual violence and abuse, I am thankful for the tireless commitment of RAINN to this effort."
~ Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID)
"RAINN provides a critical lifeline and support system to victims of sexual violence, which happens all too often in California and in communities across the country. I’m working hard to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, an essential bill to combat domestic violence and sexual assault, and to pass the SAFER Act to improve law enforcement’s ability to track sexual assault and prevent violent crimes."
~ Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
"Victims of sexual violence shouldn't have their problems compounded by unnecessary expenses and other stresses. They shouldn't have to pay for forensic medical exams or worry about becoming homeless. I’m pleased to have worked with RAINN on efforts to reduce the backlog of untested rape kits. And, as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I've worked to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which will ensure that women get the support and care they need during devastating times. I'm looking forward to the Senate version of the VAWA bill becoming law."
~ Senator Al Fraken (D-MN)
""Every two minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. Victims deserve justice, not further victimization by the system designed to protect them. The state of Illinois faces a horrific rape kit backlog with just 6% of reported rapes having kits tested over the past decade. The SAFER Act will give law enforcement nationwide better capabilities to track sexual assault cases and prevent these vicious crimes. Organizations like RAINN provide essential support and services to sexual assault victims and it is important that we continue to work with RAINN to raise awareness on this important issue."
~ Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
"Every two minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. Victims deserve justice, not further victimization by the system designed to protect them. The state of Illinois faces a horrific rape kit backlog with just 6% of reported rapes having kits tested over the past decade. The SAFER Act will give law enforcement nationwide better capabilities to track sexual assault cases and prevent these vicious crimes. Organizations like RAINN provide essential support and services to sexual assault victims and it is important that we continue to work with RAINN to raise awareness on this important issue."
~ Spokesperson for Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL)
“RAINN is a critical lifeline for victims and survivors of sexual violence. I am grateful for the national leadership and services RAINN provides to those in need. I share RAINN's passion and will work in the Senate to promote its efforts to reduce sexual violence through prevention, education, victim services and enforcing strict sentencing laws. I am confident that together we can identify the methods and resources needed to decrease actsof sexual violence in the United States."
~ Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC)
“I continue to work in the United States Senate to ensure that our nation’s laws safeguard Utahns, as well as all Americans, and ensure that the needs of victims and the interests of justice are served. I am committed to being a voice for citizens who fall prey to sexual assaults, and I will continue to advocate for laws that bring sex offenders to justice and strengthen law enforcement tools and resources, such as RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotlines.”
~ Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
“Since the founding of RAINN in 1994, the organization has made strong progress in the battle against sexual assault. In Texas, and across the country, RAINN’s hotline and local rape crisis center [partners] are important resources for those who have been victimized. RAINN has also been an invaluable advocate on behalf of these issues in Congress. Its commitment to prevention and to helping victims survive the trauma of sexual assault provides a model for all those who work to reduce and ultimately eliminate such violence.”
~ Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
“RAINN’s compassion and advocacy on behalf of those who have suffered unthinkable crimes sets the bar high. As a former prosecutor who has fought in the Senate on behalf of sexual assault victims, I was proud to partner with RAINN to try and help secure federal funding for their National Sexual Assault Hotlines and nationwide rape education and outreach programs. These free, confidential services are vital in the fight against sexual assault.”
~ Senator John Kerry (D-MA)
“RAINN has long been at the forefront of national efforts to prevent sexual assault and has helped millions of victims, families, friends, and community members — all touched by violent crime. As a former prosecutor, I am proud to support the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization and stand committed to joining RAINN in its efforts to improve services to victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.”
~ Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
“As a longtime supporter of victims’ rights, and the co-author of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act of 2005, I appreciate RAINN’s work for the victims of sexual violence. These heinous crimes must be combated with law enforcement support, resources for victims, and public education to stop the cycle of violence. RAINN has been at the forefront of this issue, not only as a leading advocate, but also a resource, for sexual assault victims.”
~ Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
“RAINN has become a national leader in giving voice to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities — those working through the trauma of sexual abuse. I am proud to support RAINN, and have encouraged those in Congress to do the same. By helping to support RAINN’s outreach efforts, including the National Sexual Assault Hotline, we demonstrate our commitment to helping victims of violence.”
~ Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
“RAINN’s remarkable work ensures that victims of sexual violence have access to the compassionate, professional support they deserve, while their educational initiatives focus on preventing these most heinous crimes. I am proud to stand with RAINN, whose work is a shining example of the good that can come when citizens come together to serve a cause greater than their own self-interest.”
~ Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
“Sexual violence leaves women with emotional and physical scars and it often leaves families torn apart. This is an issue of saving lives, and we must do everything we can in Congress to implement policy that helps rid our communities of these heinous crimes. I applaud RAINN for its tireless leadership, and look forward to continuing working with it to address this issue.”
~ Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
“Sexual assault and violence exacts terrible costs on individual lives and our communities. As Chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, I fight every year to put funds in the federal checkbook to protect Americans from sexual assault and violence, and to provide victims of these crimes the support services they need. I will continue my fight to put funds in the federal checkbook to fund these important programs.”
~ Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
“Alaska has the highest rates of sexual assault and domestic violence in the nation. As a born and raised Alaskan and the senior Senator from my state, I am not proud to report these statistics; however, it is a reality that cannot be ignored. At every level — local, state, and federal — we must work to turn the tide of domestic violence and sexual assault. Domestic violence and sexual assault advocates, and service providers in Alaska are on the front lines of an epidemic, and I know that RAINN is an important resource for them. Thank you for the work that you do.”
~ Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
“RAINN rebuilds the lives of countless victims of sexual violence, serving as a vital support system for those in need. Its prevention and awareness initiatives have made our communities stronger, safer and more secure. I appreciate and commend their commitment and hope RAINN will continue to have a healing impact for the thousands of children and adults who are affected by violence each year.”
~ Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR)
“Victims of sexual crimes are among the most vulnerable members of our society. It is critical that Congress protect these victims by recognizing and addressing issues associated with such horrible crimes. As a U.S. Senator, I will continue to support legislation and funding to that end.”
~ Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL)