April 2012

DoD Safe Helpline Helps Thousands
of Military Service Members

safe helpline

More than 2,500 military sexual assault survivors have taken the first steps towards recovery during the past year through DoD Safe Helpline, operated by RAINN on behalf of the Department of Defense (DoD). This month marks the one-year anniversary of the service, which provides a lifeline for military survivors worldwide to receive the confidential support they deserve.

In a presidential proclamation released in honor of National Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month, President Obama this month emphasized the importance of fighting sexual assault within our Armed Forces and directed military survivors to DoD Safe Helpline.

President Obama’s sentiment has been echoed by the top command at DoD: “Sexual assault has no place in this department. It is an affront to the basic American values we defend, and to the good honor of our service members and their families," said Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. "Since taking this office, I've made it one of my top priorities to do everything we can to reduce and prevent sexual assault, to make victims of sexual assault feel secure enough to report this crime without fear of retribution or harm to their career, and to hold the perpetrators appropriately accountable."

Tell a service member in your life about DoD Safe Helpline. Confidential help is just a call, click or text away. Visit Safe Helpline or call 877-995-5247.

Read more about DoD Safe Helpline.

R&B Star Rahsaan Patterson Releases New Song to Help Fellow Survivors
rahsaan patterson

Hit recording artist Rahsaan Patterson is releasing a new original song, “Don’t Touch Me,” which will raise money for RAINN. Patterson, a former star of the American children’s television program Kids Incorporated, has sold more than 10 million CDs to date with six critically-acclaimed releases.

Patterson explains why he was motivated to write “Don’t Touch Me” and partner with RAINN: “I was sexually assaulted when I was six years old and wasn’t able to share it with my family until I was 18 years old. Looking back on it, I wish there was an organization like RAINN that I could have turned to for help with dealing with what happened to me. After 30 years I finally have an appreciation and love for myself that has been missing for most of my life. The most important thing for me at this point is to be able to communicate through music and art and help others. What happened was extremely traumatic and will forever be embedded in my mind and in my life. It’s nothing I can avoid so it’s really about accepting it, owning it and knowing that it’s happened but it doesn’t have to represent who I am for the rest of my life.”.

Read more about Rahsaan.

Thank You RAINN Volunteers
thank you volunteers

During Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month RAINN recognized and thanked all volunteers for the dedication and hard work they have invested.

RAINN recognized supporters like the National Sexual Assault Hotline volunteers, Speakers Bureau members, the eCrew, RAINNmakers and more by hosting volunteer appreciation events in New York City and Washington, D.C.

RAINN's hotline programs manager, Bethany Wichman-Buescher said, “I feel honored to work with RAINN's volunteers on a daily basis. I hope all of the emails, thank-you's, events and self-care opportunities we offered this week showed how much we appreciate all that you do. Thank you for being an important source of support for thousands of survivors. You empower people to heal every day!”

There are many ways to get involved with RAINN. Volunteer today!

Eight Ways to Show Your Support During Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month
sexual assault awareness month

1. Make a donation: $10 helps one survivor through the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

2. Rock a pair of Paige Denim jeans in the RAINN Blue wash. 20% of proceeds will benefit RAINN.

3. Follow RAINN on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

4. Add a RAINN web banner to your blog or website.

5. Volunteer at your local rape crisis center.

6. Join RAINN's eCrew.

7. Become a RAINNmaker and raise money for RAINN.

8. Support legislation, like the SAFER Act, to eliminate the DNA backlog.

Pentagon Recognizes SARCs
sexal assault awareness month

This month the Department of Defense recognized individuals from each military service whose work as a sexual assault response coordinator (SARC) has been particularly noteworthy. The SARCs were honored for leading efforts to prevent sexual assault and improve services to victims.

Dr. Jo Ann Rooney, Acting Under Secretary of Defense and Major General Mary Kay Hertog, director of DoD’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, presented the awards at a ceremony in the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes.

The 2012 awardees are:
Master Sergeant William A. Downey, United States Army
Ms. Latricia Kamins, United States Marine Corps
Ms. Julia G. Powell, United States Navy
Captain Terri L. Zuber, United States Air Force
Major Alisa M. Englert, Army National Guard
Mr. Magnus John Graham, United States Coast Guard

Paige Denim’s RAINN Blue
RAINN blue wash

Paige Denim’s new line, RAINN Blue, is in stores and online now! As seen in InStyle and People StyleWatch, RAINN Blue is launching in four styles: the Silverlake Short, Vermont Jacket, Kylie Crop, and Lou Lou, and is available in Paige stores in Los Angeles and New York, boutiques nationwide and online. 20% of the proceeds will be donated to RAINN.

Visiting a Paige retail location? Donate $5 to RAINN in-store and you'll receive one raffle ticket for a chance to win a piece from the RAINN Blue collection.


 RAINN in the News

dear abby “[G]ive her the phone number of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN). It’s 800-656-4673. A counselor there may be able to help her find the help she needs.” — Dear Abby

glamour logo "I'm a big fan of people putting their money where their mouth is, and RAINN in particular, they are .88 cents to the dollar [spent on programs to help victims and prevent rape]. You can't deny that. Most charities are not that way." — Actress KaDee Strickland in Glamour

the Stir "Talk often with your child and set a tone of openness. Talking openly and directly will let your child know that it’s okay to talk to you when they have questions. If your child comes to you with concerns or questions, make time to listen and talk to them." — The Stir teamed up with RAINN to help parents protect children from sexual predators.

Sen. John Cornyn Discusses the
Importance of the SAFER Act
Senator Cornyn
Sen. Cornyn

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has just introduced the SAFER Act as an amendment to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in the US Senate. A top legislative priority for RAINN, SAFER will help end the backlog of untested DNA evidence from unsolved rapes. Here, Sen. Cornyn discusses with RAINN why he has taken the lead on this important issue, and how SAFER will help solve the problem.

Why is the DNA rape kit backlog issue important to you?

It has always been about justice for victims. The fact that victims of these crimes have to wait years for justice is deplorable. Furthermore, by timely testing of rape kits, serial offenders can be stopped earlier. We can and we must do better.

Why are you so passionate about the SAFER Act?

While I was Texas Attorney General, I oversaw a robust expansion of programs aimed at cracking down on domestic violence and assisting its victims. We had a lot of success, and I'm eager to replicate that success nationally. The SAFER Act will provide states with the resources they need to address backlogged DNA evidence and uphold the rule of law.

What are the next steps for SAFER?

I'll be working closely with my colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee, including Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA), to move it forward. As with any piece of legislation, members of Congress need to hear from their constituents about why the bill is important to them. I'd like to call on RAINN's supporters to contact their representatives and senators and let their voices be heard on this issue. Together, we can ensure that justice is served.

Express your support for SAFER by contacting your members of Congress.

More News
Your $1 = $2
through April 30


In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention month, a generous group of supporters has agreed to match your donation to RAINN through the end of April. With traffic to the Online Hotline steadily increasing, your gift this month will allow us to serve twice as many individuals who need our help. Please take this opportunity today and make a contribution that will have double the impact.

KaDee Strickland Picks Top Gifts for Mother’s Day

KaDee Strickland

Actress KaDee Strickland, from ABC's Private Practice, has collaborated with Uncommon Goods for Mother’s Day and selected a few of her favorite, unique pieces. From now until May 13, Uncommon Goods will double its donation to help survivors of sexual violence. Just select RAINN at checkout and help spread our message of hope and empowerment!

Start shopping now.

WrestleMania Update: ‘The Best Weekend of My Life.’


Graeme McGaw, winner of Mick Foley’s WrestleMania dream vacation raffle, has only one way to describe his experience: “the best ever.”

McGaw says, “When talking to Mick, his passion for RAINN really got to me. I'm going to be doing whatever I can to support RAINN from here on out.”

The wrestling raffle was made possible thanks to donations from Foley, David Otunga, WWE Divas Eve Torres, the Bella Twins and Beth Phoenix, and WWE.

Mick Foley Asks Supporters for Help in New Video


As a weekly volunteer for the Online Hotline, WWE champion & RAINN board member Mick Foley sees firsthand the impact of your support. Last April, Mick’s #10forRAINN campaign mobilized hundreds of supporters and raised 12x his initial goal. Watch Mick discuss why RAINN is important to him — and why your support this month remains critical to our mission to help survivors of sexual violence.

“Just knowing someone is out there who cares can get survivors through the toughest days,” says Foley. “It is your support that makes help available — please donate today.”

Spotlight on the Speakers Bureau: Rhett Hackett
Rhett Hackett

"Being part of the RAINN Speakers Bureau has allowed me to honor commitments that I made to myself the first time I went public. I am grateful to be associated with organizations that have a positive impact on the topic of sexual abuse/assault. I continue to thrive as I tell my story and I hope to let others know that they can do it also. I am thankful beyond measure for the opportunities RAINN provides!"

Learn more about becoming a member of RAINN's Speakers Bureau

Volunteer Spotlight: Jessica Nesbitt, Online Hotline Volunteer
Jessica Nesbitt

“I love to view Online Hotline volunteers as seed planters. I remind myself that maybe something I have said or a resource I’ve given will really resonate with that person, and maybe, when they’re ready, they’ll be able to start to work on things.”

Learn more about volunteering for RAINN

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facebookRAINN is using Pinterest, an online pinboard to collect and share what inspires you.

Start pinning with us today.

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