June 2011
RAINN Turns Seventeen

Happy Birthday RAINN
It all started backstage at a Tori Amos concert in Baltimore. As the media watched, Amos, standing next to RAINN founder Scott Berkowitz, made the ceremonial first call to the new National Sexual Assault Hotline.

Seventeen years, 1.5 million calls, and thousands of volunteers later, RAINN has grown to become the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. Its victim service programs expanded to include the Online Hotline and, this year, the DoD Safe Helpline for members of the U.S. military. At the launch, 347 community sexual assault service providers partnered with RAINN to operate the national hotline; now 1,100 local partners help keep the hotline running 24/7.

Over time, RAINN's mission expanded to include public education — we work closely with Hollywood and the media to educate Americans about the crime — and public policy (working closely with Congress and the administration to ensure justice for more victims). But even today, helping women, men and children recover from sexual violence is the core of what RAINN does.

Help RAINN reach new milestones by donating $17 today or $17 a month.

Congress Addresses Rape in Peace Corps

Congress Addresses Rape in Peace Corps
Citing news reports of the Peace Corps' poor treatment of victims of sexual assault, as well as steps the organization has committed to implementing to improve its response, members of Congress last week introduced the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) with Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Sam Farr (D-CA), would require changes to the organization's training and response to sexual assault, increase protections for volunteers serving their country abroad, and institutionalize improvements begun this year by the Peace Corps. Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced the Senate version of the bill.

Read More

Online Hotline Sets the Standard for Helping Victims

Online Hotline Sets the Standard for Helping Victims
When the Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime this month asked professionals for ideas to better use technology to help victims, it highlighted a single model program: RAINN's Online Hotline. The Online Hotline has helped more than 83,000 victims of sexual violence since it launched in 2006.

The Online Hotline was also front and center at a recent event sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). RAINN's hotline and affiliate service director, Jennifer Wilson Marsh, and representatives from the Trevor Project, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and other national organizations met to discuss critical issues related to online crisis chat, texting, discussion forums, and online and mobile applications for people in suicidal crisis or considering suicide.

The event highlighted elements that are critical to effective online crisis intervention. The forum allowed participants to share models, best practices, and tools about online crisis intervention, and to identify challenges and lessons learned from implementing online crisis intervention along with gaps in services.

RAINN is the nation's leader in online crisis intervention, and was the first organization to provide a secure hotline service online. The Online Hotline, which won the prestigious Technology Innovation Award for being the best use of technology by a nonprofit, this year expanded to provide specialized help for members of the U.S. military; the new service is located at SafeHelpline.org.

Broadway Sings Tori: A Benefit for RAINN

Broadway Sings Tori: A Benefit to RAINN
Broadway stars gathered this week to perform the music of Tori Amos at Broadway Sings Tori: A Benefit for RAINN, at New York City's New World Stages. Performers, including Tony nominees Christine Andreas (Oklahoma, La Cage Aux Folles) and Stephanie D'Abruzzo (Avenue Q), sang their renditions of Amos' work for a packed house of Amos enthusiasts and RAINN supporters. Brian Nash, producer of the award-winning Silence! The Musical and music director of But I'm a Cheerleader, provided musical direction. Tori Amos was RAINN's first spokesperson.

Chelsea Bowers, RAINN's development director, said that the evening came about thanks to the inspiration and hard work of Colleen Harris and Ben Cameron (Wicked, Aida). "Colleen and Ben, and the entire cast and crew, put together an incredible show," said Bowers. "Thanks to the funds raised by Broadway Sings Tori, 500 survivors of sexual violence will receive the support they need through RAINN's hotlines."

 RAINN in the News

Huffington PostHuffington Post
"It's devastating that this crime is not being treated with the seriousness it deserves...we're seeing crimes of sexual violence being treated on college campuses in the same way you'd deal with plagiarism or an overdue library book."
—RAINN spokesperson Katherine Hull in the Huffington Post.

Gold DerbyGold Derby
"To be trusted by Shonda [Rhimes] and the writing staff [of Private Practice] with communicationg something that happens every 2 minutes in this country and something that happens worldwide in a way that I knew would affect people — it takes you over."
—KaDee Strickland discusses the Emmy buzz abour her role on ABC's Private Practice

RAINN speakers bureau member Julie Weil shares her story of survival in 'I Survived...' a series on A&E's bio. channel. Weil, a survivor of the "day care rapist" in South Florida, is working with RAINN to pass the SAFER Act, to help eliminate the backlog of DNA evidence from open rape cases.

Defense Video & Imagery Distribution SystemDefense Video & Imagery Distribution System
"Any [service member] can either call, text or chat online with a trained victim advocate... The reason that they did this is because there has never been anything like this, and it is 100 percent confidential."
Marie Brodie of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune talks about the DoD Safe Helpline (operated by RAINN).

Lawmakers Making a Difference

Congressman Dave Reichert
Rep. Dave Reichert
"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."
Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA)

Congresswoman Nita Lowey
Rep. Nita Lowey
"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."

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY)

More News
The Twin Cities Unlock The Silence

Unlock The Silence!

Celebrate RAINN's 17th birthday in the Twin Cities with cocktails and a special performance by Grammy Award winner Jamecia Bennett. The party, chaired by longtime RAINN supporter Jane Schwartzman, will be on July 28th at Minneapolis' Seven Skybar. Buy your tickets today!

Design an E-Card to Celebrate Friendship Day

e-card design contestGet creative with RAINN's Friendship Day e-card contest! Design an e-card that depicts what friendship means to you. Enter by July 15th and stay tuned for the winner to be announced on August 1st. The winning e-card will be offered as part of RAINN's Friendship Day celebration on August 7th. Get helpful tips on creating your e-card and submit yours today!

Help RAINN End the DNA Backlog Today

Help RAINN End the DNA Backlog Today

Have you signed yet? Show your support for eliminating the backlog of DNA from rape cases by signing RAINN's petition for the SAFER Act. The legislation will help to eliminate the DNA backlog, and will empower survivors by providing real-time information about the status of their case. Show your support by signing the petition today.

Spotlight on the Speakers Bureau: Elise McGhee

Elise McGhee

"Being in the Speakers Bureau gives me an opportunity to share my story of almost a lifetime of incest so that I can give other survivors hope, validation, a voice, and the courage to regain control over their lives. My mission is to enlighten those who feel that incest only happens to a select few, and could not affect them. The most important things that can be offered to a victim of sexual abuse are to be believed, to feel safe, and to be validated. RAINN is a 'Haven of Hope' that is only a phone call away when a person has been sexually abused and desperately feels that there is nowhere to turn."

Learn more about becoming a member of RAINN's speakers bureau

Volunteer Spotlight: Katharine Coriano
Katharine Coriano
"It is powerful to know that each of us who have undergone the training and continue to learn as we go along can now help someone who can easily be our friend, our family member, or ourselves. The best thing I've ever heard in these [Online Hotline sessions] is when a visitor realizes that recovery is possible and makes the decision to start the healing process. There is a lot of pain out there, but working with RAINN survivors has shown it's a fight far from being given up. The hurt can still speak, still fight, still triumph."

Learn more about volunteering for RAINN

Join RAINN on Facebook

FacebookJoin more than 10,000 supporters by becoming a friend of RAINN on Facebook. There's no better way to stay up-to-date on everything from current issues to volunteering to getting help. Join RAINN's online community today.

 Get Help Now

Hotline Ad

 Donate Now


 DoD Safe Helpline


Copyright 2011 RAINN | 1.800.656.HOPE | rainn.org