RAINN Statement on the Reversal of Bill Cosby’s Conviction

Washington, D.C. – RAINN today released the following statement following the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturning Bill Cosby’s conviction for sexual assault:

“We are deeply disappointed in today’s ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and by the message this decision sends to the brave survivors who came forward to seek justice for what Bill Cosby did to them. This is not justice.” - Scott Berkowitz, president, RAINN

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About RAINN

Working in the States to Champion Change

RAINN’s public policy team is working in key states in 2021 to improve support for survivors and champion changes in policy to help more survivors get justice.

RAINN’s team of lobbyists is at work in five state legislatures: Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, and Virginia, partnering with local sexual assault prevention advocates, sexual assault coalitions, prosecutors, law enforcement associations, and survivors.

Highlighting Policy Priorities for the Biden Administration

In a letter to President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, RAINN outlined 12 actions we’d like to see the administration prioritize to promote justice and support survivors. Click here to read the 12 point plan RAINN outlined.

Survivors Call for Reforms to Address Racial Disparities in Access to Care and Justice

RAINN Speakers Bureau members joined other survivors of color recently to urge the House Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence to prioritize actions to address issues that affect Black survivors of sexual violence. The task force, led by Reps. Ann Kuster (D-NH), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Dave Joyce (R-OH), and John Katko (R-NY), held a virtual roundtable discussion on racial disparities for survivors of sexual violence on December 9, 2020.

How the RAINN Speakers Bureau Creates Political Change

The RAINN Speakers Bureau is a network of more than 4,000 survivors of sexual violence who volunteer to share their stories. Members across the United States share their experiences through the media, community events, artistic projects, and more. “Joining the Speakers Bureau made me feel like I was helping others as well as myself,” says Speakers Bureau member Rebecca Courtright. “By using my voice, I feel I have regained my true path to help others and create a better future for all victims of sexual violence.”

Maryland Working Group Recommends Training for Judges Handling Custody Cases Involving Child Sexual Abuse

For many parents, going to court to fight for custody of their children is unimaginably difficult, and for those who are seeking custody because of child abuse or domestic violence, it can also be the deciding factor for the health and safety of them and their child.“The way children disclose or react when around an abuser just looks different than what an adult might do,” said Cooper. “If judges and others aren’t trained in looking out for these signs, they could be condemning a child to full, unsupervised custody with a parent who is physically and sexually abusing them.”

RAINN Responds to Release of Previous Testimony by Ghislaine Maxwell

“We are encouraged to see more information coming to light. For too long, power and wealth shielded Epstein and Maxwell and prevented the public from knowing the extent and nature of their predatory behavior. RAINN is hopeful that Maxwell, and anyone else who participated in the grooming and abuse of children, will be held accountable, regardless of how powerful or well connected they may be.” - Erinn Robinson, Press Secretary, RAINN

RAINN Applauds New Charges Against Harvey Weinstein

“We thank the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office for continuing its investigation and bringing additional charges against Harvey Weinstein. Seeing powerful perpetrators face justice sends a strong message to the public. We continue to be inspired by the survivors speaking out and moments like this when, no matter how powerful or well-connected, perpetrators of these crimes do not escape the harm they have caused.” - Scott Berkowitz, president of RAINN.

RAINN Files Amicus Brief to Uphold Cosby Conviction on Appeal

As the Pennsylvania Supreme Court weighs Bill Cosby’s appeal of his conviction, RAINN and its pro bono legal partners at Hogan Lovells US LLP, have filed an amicus brief arguing to uphold the verdict. “The similarities in Cosby’s crimes are no coincidence. Cosby has shown a clear and consistent pattern of predatory behavior,” said Berkowitz. “We support the court’s decision to allow testimony from other victims of Cosby to demonstrate his pattern of behavior.”

Title IX During COVID-19

Returning to college campuses this fall will undoubtedly look unfamiliar for many college students, and for students who are survivors of sexual assault, navigating resources and reporting may be more challenging due to COVID-19. “Remote learning doesn’t mean sexual violence stops,” said Keeli Sorensen, vice president of victim services at RAINN. “We need to ensure that students are able to learn in a safe virtual environment and that they still feel supported by their university if something were to happen.”

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