RAINN’s New Vice President of Victim Services on What Motivates Him to Help Survivors

Jae Pak joined RAINN in 2023 as the vice president of victim services. Before coming to RAINN, Jae has had more than 30 years of experience working with nonprofit and for profit organizations. He sat down with RAINNews’ Sierra Scott to talk about his goals for RAINN and the Victim Services team.

What inspired you or led you to working at RAINN as the vice president of victim services?

Over the past 30 years, I’ve had the pleasure of working for both for-profit organizations and nonprofit organizations. They have been in completely different industries and different fields, but I’ve learned from and have enjoyed all of them, especially in my first role serving in the Army. Perhaps it’s not surprising, but I’ve found the greatest personal and professional fulfillment when I’ve worked for mission based organizations — especially organizations that are growing their impact. When I went through my journey learning about RAINN, I was constantly met with truly dedicated staff, relentless passion, and this amazing desire to do good for survivors. I must admit that I had never previously witnessed that consistent level of passion and it made me want to be a part of this special organization.

What compelled you to become involved in anti-sexual violence work?

I have two young daughters who were in their late teens during the start of the pandemic. Like many families, we ended up spending much more time together because of remote work and remote schooling. During that time, my daughters really opened up to me about their struggles and shared heartbreaking stories of abuse — sexual and non sexual — that some of their close friends were enduring. We even had one of my daughter's close friends stay overnight at our house to escape the situation. I’ll be frank, I was unsure of what to do. This lead me to seek greater understanding about sexual violence and other forms of abuse and how the pandemic had actually contributed to an increase in sexual violence — especially against our youth. So with RAINN, I felt that the experience with my daughters — in hindsight — somehow foreshadowed my future. I knew that this is something that I could and should advocate for.

What are your goals for RAINN for the next year?

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve worked for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. In each of those organizations, we put the customer first and foremost, as we sensibly should. At these different organizations, we had students, veterans, other non profits, or simply “buyers,” of the product as our “customers.” At RAINN, our customers are our visitors and survivors and we shouldn’t ever lose sight of this laser focus.

However, at the same time, I am equally determined to help our own Victim Services team members and volunteers overcome their own challenges and obstacles so they can be the most effective in their roles and, frankly, most happy. This might involve helping design new processes, implementing new technologies, or simply doing things differently. I see this as a multi step process that starts with understanding the organization, understanding our pain points and opportunities, and then creating a prioritized roadmap to address what is needed most. Yes….it sounds systematic, but I believe that helping ourselves can only help support survivors in the long run.

At RAINN, our mission is to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. What are your beliefs and motivations in connection to RAINN's mission?

I passionately believe that the reduction and prevention of any form of violence - sexual violence first and foremost - can most effectively be achieved by a multi-pronged effort. This effort spans improving education and access to that education, advocacy work at the state and federal level and, of course, supporting survivors in many different ways. RAINN does just that and is the most well equipped organization and champion to execute on our aspirational mission to eliminate sexual violence.

What is your message to survivors?

That we want to do better, that we must do better, and that we will be better in this fight. As our new VP of Victim Services, I’m committed to listening first and then finding out ways where we can make the biggest impact to helping our existing survivors and preventing such violence from happening in the first place. I really come into this role with an open heart and an open mind and know that the best solutions will ultimately come from you all. I look forward to meeting you and locking arms together in this fight!