COVID-19 Update: RAINN is Here for Survivors

As each us face the many ways COVID-19 has affected our communities and everyday lives, we wanted to take a moment to let you know that RAINN continues to be here to support survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones, no matter what.

We know that this is a difficult time, and that uncertainty and feeling a lack of control over our lives may feel especially overwhelming for survivors of sexual violence already coping with trauma and stress. If you need to talk, the National Sexual Assault Hotline is available at 800.656.HOPE or online.rainn.org. As always, services are free, confidential, and 24/7. Whether you’re a survivor or a loved one, we're here for you.

Now, more than ever, it’s crucial that survivors can get help. Many people are staying at home in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Those experiencing intimate partner violence or child sexual abuse are at particular risk. For example, children have lost critical social support structures due to school closings and isolation from adults who regularly look for signs of abuse and exploitation. Mandated reports of child abuse across the country have been dropping as schools, daycare centers, after school programs, and other places where children would interact with adults who may spot the signs of abuse have closed due to the virus. Having a place to turn is critical and, for the first time ever, minors accounted for the majority of visitors to RAINN’s online hotline in the month of March.

“This is a hard time for all of us, but poses additional risks to those who have to be at home all day with an abuser,” says Keeli Sorensen, RAINN’s vice president of victim services. “If you or someone you know might be in this situation and need to talk, we recommend reaching out through our online chat feature, which can be a safer option than a phone call if you are in a shared space.”

In addition to reaching out to talk, this is also an important time to practice self-care regularly. Self-care will be a little different for everyone, and that’s okay. For some people it looks like taking a walk, calling a friend, or eating a favorite food—whatever works best for you.

“Be gentle with yourself; you’re doing the best you can,” said Sorensen.

You can learn more and share your own self-care tips on RAINN’s Twitter. Take a look at these safety planning strategies for those experiencing abuse at home. Thank you, as always, for being a part of the RAINN community. We promise to provide the support and resources that survivors and their loved ones need during this difficult time. We aren’t going anywhere.

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