Closer Look: RAINN’s Consulting and Training Services

In honor of RAINN’s 25th anniversary, each month we’ll be taking a closer look at the people and programs that are essential in our work to help survivors today and every day. This month, we’re shining a spotlight on RAINN’s consulting services team.

The consulting services team at RAINN works with a broad spectrum of client organizations—government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, police departments, law firms, universities, boarding schools—to help them strengthen their sexual harassment and misconduct awareness and prevention programs. Some of RAINN’s clients include the Department of Defense, FEMA, Girl’s Inc., Uber, McDonald’s, Royal Caribbean Inc., and Massage Envy.

“All of our trainings are tailored to the specific needs of the organization. We come in and meet them wherever they are in the process,” says Clara Kim, vice president of consulting services. “We don’t just evaluate their policies or provide trainings, we teach them how to approach this issue in a way that is victim-centered, trauma-informed, and fair and equitable. Those are our pillars.”

Though the consulting team works with organizations to review their existing policies and codes of conduct, run program evaluations, facilitate trainings, and improve reporting and response systems, their ultimate goal is to move beyond compliance.

“So many of these conversations start as discussion of reducing liability—and are led by lawyers. While that perspective is critical, it needs to be balanced with a sense of what we can do on a human-to-human level,” says Kim. “We help create compassionate communities.”

Though counterintuitive, one of the metrics of early success is an increase in reporting of sexual harassment and misconduct within an organization. Increased reporting often means that community members feel safe in reporting an incident and trust that their concern will be taken seriously. “Rebuilding that level of trust among employees and the community is critical. If organizations don’t know what the problems are, they can’t fix them.”

The positive effect of this work extends beyond any one organization to the family and community of each individual who learns about proper prevention and response techniques. Each person RAINN teaches about topics like bystander intervention, how to talk to a survivor, or how trauma works in the brain, will take that understanding with them to every other aspect of their life. “When we provide individuals with actionable skills and deeper understanding, they bring that positive change into all their other social circles,” says Kim.

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