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TV Academy Honors Celebrates RAINN's Work With The Oprah Show and Private Practice

Television Academy Applauds Shows’ Accurate Depictions of Sexual Violence

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 2011RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, today participated in The Television Academy Honors ceremony celebrating "Television with a Conscience." The Television Academy — the folks behind the Emmy Awards — established the honors in 2008.

Two shows that RAINN worked closely with, Private Practice and The Oprah Show, received recognition for their depiction of sexual violence. These programs, produced with RAINN’s assistance, unquestionably served to demonstrate to survivors of sexual violence that they are not alone and that it is never too late to get the help they deserve.

Last November saw a landmark, two-day event of The Oprah Show in which 200 male survivors, accompanied by Tyler Perry, courageously stepped forward and spoke out – some for the first time – about the trauma of their own childhood sexual abuse. Many of the men were joined by their spouses, partners and friends to speak about the impact of the abuse on their relationships. Several of the 200 male survivors who attended are members of the RAINN Speakers Bureau.

RAINN founder and president Scott Berkowitz, accompanied by Christina Ricci, presented the award to The Oprah Show: “Oprahʼs groundbreaking programs gave a voice to the survivors of this heinous crime. Her courage and commitment to speaking out about this issue has had a profound influence on the nationʼs understanding of sexual abuse — and the unique needs of male survivors,” said Berkowitz. “The Oprah Show richly deserves this award.”

Private Practice was chosen for its powerful portrayal of the rape of Dr. Charlotte King, played by actress KaDee Strickland. Strickland worked closely with RAINN experts and survivors in the RAINN Speakers Bureau Members to give viewers the most true-to-life portrayal possible. Shonda Rhimes, Private Practice’s creator, executive producer, and writer received the Television Academy’s award for consistently delivering quality television with a conscience. Accepting the honor on Rhimes behalf was Private Practice Executive Producer, Betsy Beers. Beers noted the impact of the Private Practice-RAINN public service announcement, which drove record numbers of survivors to the National Sexual Assault Hotlines.

Berkowitz praised Rhimes’ and Stickland’s work on Private Practice’s multi-episode storyline depicting the brutal rape of Dr. Charlotte King and the aftermath of the crime. “The work of Shonda, KaDee, and the entire cast and crew of Private Practice has inspired literally thousands of survivors to take the first step towards recovery through RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotlines ” he said. “After this episode aired, RAINN heard from many survivors that Strickland’s portrayal was the most true-to-life that they had ever seen. I am honored to be among those who helped make that happen.”

One of the most effective ways of reaching the public is through working with the entertainment industry’s talented writers, producers, and actors. RAINN is proud and grateful to be a part of The Oprah Show’s and Private Practice’s efforts to increase awareness about the devastating effects of sexual violence.

About RAINN: RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization and was named one of “America’s 100 Best Charities” by Worth magazine. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotlines (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org) in partnership with more than 1,100 local rape crisis centers across the country. The hotlines have helped more than 1.5 million people since 1994. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice. For more information about RAINN, please visit rainn.org.

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