February 2010
Thousands Call Hotline After Speakers Bureau Member Appears on Oprah


RAINN Speakers Bureau member Gregg Milligan last week made a brave appearance on The Oprah Show to speak about the physical and sexual abuse that he suffered at the hands of his mother.  The appearance led to a record increase in victims getting help from the National Sexual Assault Hotline and Online Hotline, which are operated by RAINN.

As a young boy, Milligan’s mother physically and sexually abused him, and invited others into their house to do so as well. He lived with shame and in absolute fear of his mother, who told him that if he told anyone about the abuse, he would be taken away to a boys’ home, where older boys would rape him.

Read more about Gregg's story and watch the episode of Oprah read more


Wife of Former U.S. Senator Speaks Out

Rosemary TribleCongressional staffers and members of Congress packed a room this month to meet Rosemary Trible, a courageous survivor of rape and author of the new book Fear to Freedom. Reps. Frank Wolf and Donna Edwards and Ambassador Tony Hall led off the RAINN-sponsored briefing, talking about their work to combat sexual violence and their admiration of Trible, the wife of former U.S. Senator Paul Trible.

Trible spoke movingly of the events of that night long ago, and of the 35 years she has spent recovering from the brutal attack. She credits her family and her faith with helping her survive, and she stressed the importance of Congress’ role in funding programs to help victims and prevent sexual violence. Read more read more

 RAINN in the News
RAINN on the Today Show

Incarcerated YouthIn the wake of revelations that a superintendent of residential apartment buildings in New York City is a registered sex offender, RAINN spokeswoman Katherine Hull weighed in on the Today Show: “The FBI says that rape is the second most violent crime, after only murder.”  Clearly, says Hull, registered sex offenders should not have access to people’ homes.

Read more if you're worried about maintenance workers who have access to your home read more

Flaws in the Criminal Justice System: Missing Sex Offenders, Untested Rape Kits

Hartford CourantRAINN President Scott Berkowitz spoke out on Chicago Public Radio about the failure of many states, including Illinois, to adequately keep track of sex offenders: “When the programs aren’t implemented well, and thousands of sex offenders go missing, it hurts lots of victims,” Berkowitz said.

The Hartford Courant interviewed Berkowitz about the public policy effect of untested DNA kits.  Failing to test DNA kits puts the public at risk, he says: "Rapists tend to be serial criminals. They tend to commit a lot of attacks before they're found," making it vital to test evidence as soon as it is collected

RAINN on The Steve Wilkos Show

Steve Wilkos ShowIn an appearance on a special Steve Wilkos Showfeaturing college students and the issues they face, RAINN spokeswoman Katherine Hull emphasized the prevalence of the crime of sexual assault: “Every two minutes, someone in this country is sexually assaulted; college-aged women are four times more likely to be assaulted.”

Incest Not Consensual, Says McKenzie Phillips

CNNIn response to McKenzie Phillips’ remarks that her father’s incest was not consensual, CNN.com interviewed RAINN about the nature of incest and the uptick in calls to the National Sexual Assault Hotline and Online Hotline after a high-profile person talks about his or her sexual abuse. After Phillips spoke with Oprah Winfrey in September, RAINN saw an 83 percent increase in activity on its Online Hotline and a 26 percent increase on its telephone hot line, said Jennifer Wilson, the director of RAINN’s victim-service programs.

A Crowning Achievement for the Cause

CNNWhen Christina Keegan, an active member of the RAINN Speakers Bureau, was crowned Miss Nevada last year, she knew right away what her platform had to be:  rape education and recovery.  A four-year survivor of rape herself, Keegan knows how important it is to get help and speak out.  “I have been granted this opportunity to represent a cause that is very close to my heart,” she told RAINNews.

Join Keegan and help RAINN educate the public about sexual assault by joining the Speakers Bureau and sharing your story read more

Lawmakers Making a Difference

Sue Myrick“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)

Donna Edwards“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)

 More News
Volunteer Spolight:
Erica Oppenheimer

Erica Oppenheimer“I’ve always tried to spread awareness about the nature of sexual assault and how it effects the day to day life of survivors and the rest of society as a whole.  I started volunteering for the Online Hotline about seven months ago because I wanted to be a resource for those who don’t know where else to turn, and I’m a huge fan of experimenting with technology’s ability to make those resources more accessible. I really think that we (as volunteers) make an incredible and powerful network of activists.  The more we connect and talk the more of a difference we can make when it comes to fighting for a world free of sexual assault.  The most important things I've learned have been from other volunteers.”

Learn more about volunteering for RAINN read more

Blog Much?

Are you an avid blogger?  Do you update your online status more than most?  Consider joining RAINN’s E-Crew to get more involved in the fight against sexual assault.

Whether you are active on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, or email listserves, or communicate in other ways online, you can make your time online count by spreading the word on sexual assault issues, statistics, news stories, and public policy changes.  Our goal is to spread the word to millions of people all over the U.S., and you can help!

ECrewSimply visit our E-Crew webpage, sign-up and receive emails from RAINN a few times a month with new suggested postings.  Now there’s a way to take an active part in this amazing cause — in just a few minutes each week!

Oprah Viewing Leads to Record Demand

Soon after Gregg Milligan’s inspiring story on Oprah, more than 5,000 people contacted RAINN’s hotlines for help.

Help us help them get on the road to recovery.

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