RAINN Helps Survivors Like Debra

Debra was just 15 years old when the abuse began. “My father consoled me after the rape. He started brainwashing me with scripture from the Bible—Genesis Chapter 19. It was sick, and it continued off and on for 21 years.”

It can be difficult for an individual to disclose sexual assault or abuse when they know the perpetrator. It can be especially difficult if the perpetrator is a family member. It took many years for Debra to come to terms with the abuse and to recover from using substances. “It made me feel like drugs were the only way out. I was looking for love in all the wrong places.” She has also dealt with feelings of guilt and shame and thoughts of suicide.

Today Debra hopes that sharing her story will help others who may feel alone. “My desire to help others is because I never heard anything on the radio or saw anything on T.V. That would have helped my situation at that time. There's uncountable victims in the grave at the hands of their abusers and can't speak out.”

Read Debra's Story.

What can RAINN do for survivors like Debra?

RAINN helps survivors like Debra by meeting them where they are in the healing process and reaching out on a national scale to improve the way the media and lawmakers think about and respond to sexual violence. Here’s a snapshot of just some of out work. 

  • RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline, accessible 24/7 by phone (800.656.HOPE) and online (online.rainn.org). We also work closely with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers to offer confidential support services to survivors regardless of where they are in their recovery.
  • RAINN is recognized as the go-to source for media seeking expert commentary and research on sexual violence news and stories and collaborates with the entertainment industry on responsible production and airing.
  • RAINN’s policy team helps create and advocate for laws and regulations that make communities safer and support survivors and leads the national effort to end the rape kit backlog.
  • RAINN’s experts in technology, consulting, and victim services also offer training and consulting services to dozes on federal agencies, corporations, and organizations to improve how institutions prevent sexual violence and handle victim response.

Read more about RAINN's programs and expertise.

What can you do to help?

RAINN’s telephone and online hotlines have helped more than 2.5 million survivors. And we’re not slowing down. Support RAINN in the way that works best for you.

  • Make a donation. Whether you’re honoring someone, setting up a monthly donation, or making a one-time gift, every bit counts.
  • Take action. Visit RAINN’s Policy Action Center to see how you can support legislation that protects communities and supports survivors of sexual assault.
  • Spread the word. Share RAINN’s educational content to help inform your network about the realities of sexual violence. Don’t forget to tag us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @RAINN.
  • Raise funds. Want to start your own fundraising campaign? Become a RAINNmaker today.