April 2010
Kevin Bacon, Dylan McDermott, Gabrielle Union and Christina Ricci Headline Campaign to
Help Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse


RAINN has launched a new celebrity-studded campaign to connect survivors of child sexual abuse with the help that they deserve. “This campaign is very timely,” noted Katherine Hull, RAINN’s vice president for communications. “The tremendous news coverage recently of these crimes against children has the potential to trigger flashbacks and difficult memories for survivors of child sexual abuse.”

The campaign spots feature RAINN’s national spokeswoman, actress Christina Ricci, alongside actors Kevin Bacon and Dylan McDermott and actress Gabrielle Union. This latest initiative was formed in partnership with director and filmmaker Amy Berg, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her documentary film, “Deliver Us From Evil,” which explored child sexual abuse. The campaign also features music from hit singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne.

Learn more and view the PSAs read more

April is Sexual Assault Awareness
and Prevention Month

CapitolPresident Barack Obama this month urged the country to “recommit ourselves not only to lifting the veil of secrecy and shame surrounding sexual violence, but also to raising awareness, expanding support for victims, and strengthening our response.” The Department of Justice held a special event with Attorney General Eric Holder to mark the month and highlight the administration's commitment to the issue (while serving in the Senate, Vice President Joseph Biden was the original sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act). The House and Senate also passed resolutions this month noting the importance of sexual assault prevention and the victim services provided by the National Sexual Assault Hotline and the nation’s 1,100 local rape treatment centers.

 RAINN in the News

ABCNewsABCNews.com: Controversial Column
RAINN responded to an American University student’s column in the college’s newspaper saying that women often invite date rape with their behavior: "It's not your fault," said Katherine Hull, spokesman for RAINN. "Even if you drink and wear short skirts — that is not consent. Even if a woman gave consent previously, it does not mean consent for right now," she said. "Dressing provocatively is not an invitation for sex or rape, even with alcohol."

US WeeklyUS Weekly: Gabrielle Union
Actress Gabrielle Union received a big shoutout from US Weekly for speaking out against child sexual abuse in RAINN’s new PSA campaign. Pick up the current issue on newsstands now.

Huffington PostHuffington Post: Mick Foley
Help wanted: More men needed in the fight against sexual violence.  Read the latest from professional wrestler, author and RAINN National Leadership Council member Mick Foley.

LifeTimeLifetime Television: New PSAs Airing
Tune into Lifetime to catch two new RAINN PSAs, "The Secret" and "Living in Fear."

Clear ChannelClear Channel: Donating PSA Time
The media and entertainment giant this month donated radio time across the nation to RAINN, airing PSAs featuring actress Christina Ricci.

AlternetAlternet.org: Blaming the Victim
The site interviewed Jennifer Wilson Marsh, the director of RAINN’s hotlines, about why victims of rape are often still blamed for being assaulted. 

Online Activism: RAINN's Video Blogging Campaign

YouTubeMany influential video bloggers — vloggers — partnered with RAINN this month to spread messages of hope through YouTube. Their vlogs introduced thousands people to RAINN and the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Each vlogger spoke about a different aspect of sexual violence and explained how RAINN can help those affected; some even publicly shared their own story of survival for the first time. The vlogging campaign and other online outreach have led to 19% increase in people using the Online Hotline so far this year, compared to last year.

RAINN Hosts Screening of
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Dragon TattooRAINN and Music Box Films this month invited D.C. supporters to a free screening of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (a film adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s best-selling novel), which illustrates the real-life effects of sexual violence on victims and emphasizes the importance of getting help.  As a survivor who attended the film said, “this is the first film that focused on recovery of the survivor and the impact.  I thought it was exquisite.”

Read more about the film read more

An Educational Commute

DASHThose long DC-area commutes just got a little more interesting. This month, public buses in Alexandria, VA, began carrying posters with information about sexual violence, including the number of the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE). The displays, in English and Spanish, are thanks to a new initiative by transit operator DASH and the City of Alexandria.

Speakers Bureau Spotlight: Tiffani Wampler

Tiffani WamplerYou may remember RAINN Speakers Bureau member Tiffani Wampler from her appearance on Good Morning America last September. Now, SafePlace, RAINN’s partner crisis center in Austin, Texas, has honored Tiffani at its 2010 Field Day & Festival.  

Speaking at Field Day, Wampler called herself  “a survivor” and said she believes that speaking out is the most important and successful tool survivors and their loved ones have in combating sexual abuse.  The event raised money for SafePlace, which is nationally-known for its pioneering work helping children, the disabled and other victims of sexual violence.

Lawmakers Making a Difference

Costa“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)

Poe“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)

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Double the Impact of Your Donation

Double DonationIn honor of Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month, all donations up to $25,000 made by April 30th will be matched by a generous group of supporters. By giving this month, your donation will make a difference in twice as many lives.  Please commit to changing lives today and donate!

Volunteer Spotlight:
Sharra Smith

Sharra SmithEarlier this month, WHAS11, a Louisville, Kentucky television station, aired a segment about the devastating effects of sexual abuse and how RAINN helps victims. The broadcast featured Sharra Smith, a RAINN volunteer, who helped answer questions and explain how important it is that survivors can access help online.

Smith said that what she likes about the hotline is the volunteers are not necessarily psychologists or doctors; instead, they are people who have experienced some of the same situations and can respond on a more personal level.  WHAS11 posted on its website, in response to the interview, how viewers can get involved and become online hotline volunteers.

Have you Tweeted Lately?

TwitterOne of the easiest ways to get involved with RAINN online is to follow us on Twitter (@RAINN01), retweet our messages, and reply to our tweets as a way to help others. Remember to use the hashtag "#rainn" so that all supporters can check out your contribution!

RAINN uses Twitter to spread the word about breaking news and happenings and to connect with followers who share the same desire to end sexual violence.  With several new PSAs, a movie screening, and hundreds of events taking place across the nation, RAINN01’s Twitter feed has been abuzz!

Follow RAINN today and start spreading the word!

A Month of Prevention Goes a Long Way

This April, thousands of RAINN supporters participated in events to educate their communities about sexual assault prevention and recovery. From self-defense courses and speak-outs to fashion shows and fundraisers, these Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month events across the U.S. spread the news that rape is a preventable crime and that victims can get help through the National Sexual Assault Hotline.


Thanks to all who hosted or attended an event for RAINN this month, more survivors will reach out for help and more supporters will volunteer their time to fight sexual violence.


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