Online Hotline Internship

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network is the nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization. RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE and the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline at, and publicizes the hotline's free, confidential services; educates the public about sexual assault; and leads national efforts to prevent sexual assault, improve services to victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice. Each semester RAINN has openings for interns at their Washington, DC office. College students and recent grads with a commitment to ending sexual violence and helping victims of sexual assault are encouraged to apply.

In 2007, RAINN expanded its hotline services with the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, the nation's first secure web-based hotline that provides live and completely confidential help to victims through an interface as intuitive as instant messaging.

Goals of the Online Hotline

  • To ensure the safety of each visitor.
  • To encourage survivors to contact their local rape crisis centers for continued support.
  • To serve as a gateway to additional support services.
  • To provide consistent service to all visitors.
  • To take the visitors seriously and treat them with respect.
  • To provide appropriate local services, if locality is voluntarily provided by the visitor.
  • To assist the visitor with discovering all of his/her options for action (contacting local rape crisis center, reporting the incident to the police, completing a rape kit, finding safe housing, etc.)

Learn more about the Online Hotline.

Even if you have no prior direct experience working with those affected by sexual violence, RAINN offers a 40-hr training program for interns to give you the tools and knowledge to effectively support trauma survivors. Each semester interns will:

  • Complete a 40 hr training program encompassing sexual assault, domestic violence, crisis intervention and online communication.
  • Help people from all over the country find resources and support in the recovery process.
  • Provide vital research assistance for RAINN’s hotlines.
  • Be part of a national volunteer community with members across the country.
  • Opportunities to attend community outreach events or Congressional hearings related to sexual assault.


  • Be on time for shifts scheduled using the online hotline website
  • Complete 40 hours of crisis intervention training
  • Follow computer safety best practices learned in the online training
  • Remain supportive and engaged with visitors
  • Provide accurate support using crisis intervention best practices
  • Work on research and administrative tasks relative to the online hotline


  • Applicable Majors: Counseling, Social Work, Women and Gender Studies, Mental Health, Public Health, Psychology, Sociology, etc…
  • Able to work some nights and/or weekends from home for training
  • Exceptional communication skills both verbal & written
  • Computer proficiency including instant messaging is a must


  • Develop and enhance crisis intervention skill set
  • Learn best practices in the new field of online advocacy and intervention services
  • Provide a safe and secure place for victims of sexual assault and abuse
  • Flexible hours

This is an unpaid, part-time position. RAINN employees will work with the student and university to ensure college credit is given for the internship.


Submit resume, cover letter, and a brief writing sample through the application portal.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please no phone calls.


The above is intended to describe the general content of and requirements for the performance of this job. It is not to be construed as an exhaustive statement of the essential functions, responsibilities and/or requirements.