Telephone Hotline Terms of Service

About the National Sexual Assault Hotline

Welcome to the National Sexual Assault Hotline operated by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN “we” or “us”). This policy applies only to telephone calls answered directly by RAINN staff, including calls to the National Sexual Assault Hotline and any hotlines that RAINN operates for third parties. Calls that are transferred to a local sexual assault service provider are not covered by RAINN’s terms of service; you should contact the organization directly for its policy. Use of the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline is covered by a separate terms of service policy.

User Safety

IF YOU ARE IN DANGER, CONSIDERING SUICIDE, OR NEED EMERGENCY HELP, CALL 911 (IN THE U.S.), OR YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITIES, NOW.

If you have concerns that your phone calls may be monitored and you do not want others to know that you have contacted the National Sexual Assault Hotline, we recommend you locate a safe computer and visit rainn.org to find resources near you. If you have concerns that your calls may be monitored and you have already used the National Sexual Assault Hotline, we recommend you clear your call history from your device.

Please be aware that even if you delete your call log from your device, your carrier may keep or store your call log for an indefinite period of time, and your carrier might provide it to anyone who has access to your account.

About the Terms of Service

This Terms of Service explains how RAINN handles information collected when you call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.4673. By calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline, you agree to follow the rules, terms, and conditions set forth here. We may, from time to time, make changes to these terms. If we make substantial changes in the way we use your personal information, or to the rights and obligations set forth herein, we will update this page and post a prominent announcement on RAINN.org.

Your privacy and security are very important to us. The following information will help you understand what information we collect by phone, and how we handle that information once we collect it. This policy will tell you if we disclose that information to anyone, and what choices you have regarding how we use that information.

All references in this policy to “staff,” “staffers,” “trained staff” or “trained staffers” cover staff paid directly by RAINN; staff paid by a third-party to provide services on RAINN’s behalf; and volunteers.

Providing Feedback

At the conclusion of a call, you may be asked to provide feedback through an anonymous interactive voice response system. If you provide feedback, it may be shared with RAINN staff for the purpose of improving hotline services. This feedback is voluntary; you do not need to provide any information you do not feel comfortable with. To ensure that your feedback remains completely anonymous, you should not include any personally identifiable information. Also, your feedback will not be connected to other records of your call to the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline.

Personally Identifiable Information

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is information about you that would identify you, such as your name or address. The National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline is intended to be an anonymous service and, except as set forth in the Section “Legal Requirements” below, you will NOT be asked to provide your full name, address, or e-mail address, at any time during your use of the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline. In fact, we specifically request, for your own safety and anonymity, that you do NOT provide any such Personally Identifiable Information when you use the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline.

Note that while we will not request Personally Identifiable Information in the ordinary course of a call, trained staffers may ask your location in order to provide you with referrals for ongoing support.

The information provided by you to trained staff during your call is intended to be part of a private conversation between you and the trained staff. This conversation will NOT be recorded, stored, or saved. During this conversation you are not required to provide any information that you do not feel comfortable with. We use non-personally identifying information to improve our services and training based on user needs. We may share aggregate information (e.g., patterns and trends of topics discussed) with academic researchers and the public, to help them understand the needs of sexual assault survivors.

Additionally, in order to determine usage levels, average call length, and for other recordkeeping purposes, an entry will be made in a database containing the start and stop time of each telephone call.

Please note that if you are transferred to another hotline or service for ongoing support, the terms of service of such hotline or service will govern upon such transfer.

While RAINN has taken many steps to ensure that your call is anonymous, you should be aware that telephone carriers generally retain records of incoming and outgoing calls for billing and other purposes.

Aggregate Data

We automatically gather, or aggregate, certain usage information, such as the number of National Sexual Assault Hotline callers, average length of telephone call, and resources provided. This data cannot be used to identify you personally and helps us to determine how often the National Sexual Assault Hotline is being used, at what times of the day, and other useful statistics. We may use this aggregate data for internal recordkeeping and service improvement purposes, and also may share it with sponsors, supporters, or the media.

Legal Requirements

Information gathered for research and statistical purposes will only be used for that purpose. Notwithstanding this Terms of Service, RAINN trained staff may be forced to disclose information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances. We may be required to (and you authorize us to) reveal any information about you that we possess to law enforcement or other government officials as we, in our sole discretion, believe is necessary or appropriate, in connection with the investigation of a crime, mandatory reporting laws, fraud or other activity that is illegal, or may expose us, or you, to liability.

If RAINN or a trained staffer fears that you are in danger of committing suicide; are 17 years of age or younger; or are a vulnerable adult covered by your state’s mandatory reporting laws, and you have provided us with information, such as name or location, that would allow us to identify you, we or the trained staffer may be required to disclose whatever information you have provided to the appropriate authorities. If you do not wish us to notify legal authorities, you should not share PII with us.

If you are a minor and you would like us to notify authorities, we will do so UPON YOUR REQUEST. In such case, we will request PII from you so that we may notify authorities. Such information will be otherwise subject to our Terms of Service and may only be shared with state or local authorities.

RAINN’s place of business is in the District of Columbia. Trained staffers are generally located in the District of Columbia, but may be located elsewhere in the United States. The laws of the District of Columbia apply to your communications with that trained staffer. Such laws may not protect your communications to the same degree, or in the same way, as the laws of your state. It is possible that a court of law will not keep private, and may require us to reveal, information that you provide during your call.

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