87,476 Victims Take Their First Step Towards Recovery Online

Five years ago this month, RAINN transformed the field of victim services with the launch of the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, the web's first secure hotline service. The Online Hotline's innovative approach and cutting edge technology have allowed victims and survivors to get the help they deserve online — safely, securely, and anonymously. The Online Hotline has also greatly expanded the universe of victims reaching out for help by offering an alternative to the traditional telephone hotline; it's become a lifeline for those who aren't able to speak out loud about their experience.

Since 2006, more than 87,000 survivors have been helped through the Online Hotline and, unfortunately, that number continues to grow each day. In our first month of service, the Online Hotline helped an average of 7 people; today RAINN's hotline staff helps an average of 88 people a day.

The accolades keep rolling in for the Online Hotline — from the personal thank you notes we receive from survivors every day, to the prestigious Technology Innovation Award that the Online Hotline received from Npower and Accenture for being the best use of technology by a nonprofit. RAINN is setting the national standard for use of technology in this field, and was recently highlighted as by the U.S. Department of Justice as the model program for using technology to help victims.

“Five years ago when Penelope Hughes, the Online Hotline's founding director, and I first started to pitch funders on the idea for a web-based hotline, many people were skeptical,” said Scott Berkowitz, president and founder of RAINN. “Now, five years later, we have helped tens of thousands of people to take big steps towards recovery. A big thank you goes out to our Online Hotline staff and volunteers. Thanks to you, the Online Hotline is here to stay — and help will always be just a click away.”

Take a tour to learn more about the Online Hotline.

Eight out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by someone who knows the victim.

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