|From Celebrities to 13-Year-Olds, Hundreds Come Together to Support Survivors
Travel Channel's Adam Richman with 13-year-old Kelsey Hirsch, creator of Bands4RAINN
It was a celebratory night with a serious purpose, as the Travel Channel’s Adam Richman hosted a gathering for 150 RAINN supporters. Richman told the crowd that when the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke last year, he was inspired and motivated to do something to help. After getting advice from his Twitter followers, he researched organizations and concluded that RAINN’s record of helping victims, running prevention programs and influencing public policy was the most effective approach. That led to him making a generous donation to RAINN, and to his offer to do even more to help.
The event at DC’s LongView Gallery also featured remarks from Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), who were presented with this year’s Crime Fighter Awards by RAINN’s founder, Scott Berkowitz. The event was co-hosted by Cybele Daley, Katherine Miller, Liz Seccuro and Tracy Sefl, with special guest Mick Foley.
“I remember that I was filming in Milwaukee when the details of the Sandusky indictment came through, and like so many other people, it really hit home for me. So after my vitriolic feelings passed, I went looking for an organization that was doing great things with education and with helping victims, and I landed on RAINN because of their comprehensive approach,” said Richman.
Funds raised at the event will support RAINN’s hotlines, which have helped more than 1.8 million people since 1994.
Read more in the Washingtonian and see pictures of the event.
Sen. Cornyn, Sen. Bennet and Rep. Poe win Crime Fighter Award
Sen. Bennet (D-CO), RAINN president and founder Scott Berkowitz and Rep. Poe (R-TX).
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) have won RAINN’s 2012 Crime Fighter Award, in recognition of their leadership in the fight against sexual violence.
“The extraordinary leadership demonstrated by Sen. Cornyn, Sen. Bennet and Rep. Poe has helped reduce the number of rapes across the nation and ensured that victims get the help they deserve. They are essential partners to RAINN on Capitol Hill and reliable allies of survivors of this violent crime,” said Scott Berkowitz, president and founder of RAINN. “In particular, their tireless work and bipartisan efforts on behalf of the SAFER Act will bring greater transparency and efficiency to the criminal justice system and help get many perpetrators of the streets.”
“I’m humbled to receive the RAINN Crime Fighter award, and I commend the staff and volunteers at RAINN for the tireless work they do year-round to seek justice for the victims of rape and abuse. I have been proud to work hand-in-hand with RAINN on issues like reducing the unacceptable rape kit backlog, and I look forward to continuing to work together on our shared goals for greater justice for victims nationwide,” Sen. Cornyn said.
Read more about the 2012 Crime Fighter Award recipients.
DoD SafeHelpline Expands Services,
Launches New App
DoD Safe Helpline, which provides free, confidential help to military sexual assault survivors, has expanded its services to help those transitioning out of their military career. Transitioning service members (TSMs) can now find specialized help and information at SafeHelpline.org. Safe Helpline is operated by RAINN through a contract with the Department of Defense.
The website also features a tool that can guide TSMs to the benefits and services most appropriate for them. After answering five or six questions, they receive a customized list of resources based on their needs, including resources for mental health, housing and employment help.
Safe Helpline also features a new self-care app, available for iPhone and Android. Version 2.0 of the app, which will be available in the App Store next week, helps users create a personalized self-care plan and includes more than a dozen exercises to help military survivors of sexual assault.
To get the word out about Safe Helpline, RAINN and DoD are working with some of the top military-related organizations, including the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Blinded Veterans Association, Operation Homefront, Wounded Warrior Project, Blue Star Families and Military Officers Association of America.
TV network ABC has also lent a hand, airing a public service ad for Safe Helpline following an episode of Private Practice earlier this year (the show's writers and producers also consulted with RAINN staff as they developed the episode).
Learn more about the Safe Helpline or find resources for transitioning service members.
Facebook Offers the Perfect Gift
This holiday season, giving the gift of HOPE is easier than ever! If you're a Facebook user, you now have the ability to make a $25 donation to RAINN as a gift to a friend or family member, directly from their timeline.
It's easy: Just log into Facebook, select the friend you'd like to make your gift to, and click on the red gift box in their status bar.
Your $25 gift will enable two survivors to take their first steps towards recovery through the National Sexual Assault Hotline. And if you make your tax-deductible gift before the year ends, fellow supporters will match your donation dollar-for-dollar.
Your last minute holiday gifting starts here.