Rainn-Helping Victims Of Sexual Abuse And Assault

Every year an estimated 700,000 women are sexually assaulted in the United States, according to the Facts About Sexual Assault site, and that less than 50% of all rapes are reported. What do you do with numbers like these? Do you just pretend that they don't really exist, or do you work to make help more widely available for those who have no where to turn? These are questions that the people of RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) asked themselves, and the answer was to form the nation's ONLY hotline for sexual assault.

After becoming a victim of sexual assault herself, Tori Amos, musical artist, helped to create RAINN as a means of providing counseling and assistance to sexual assault victims, especially those who do not have ready access to crisis centers in their locations. According to the RAINN site, many of these victims choose not to report their assault due to a variety of factors, including shame, helplessness, living with their attackers, and fear. They may not have transportation or access to a phone on which they can make an unnoticed long distance call for help.

RAINN provides a toll-free telephone number which a victim can call, and then automatically be put in touch with a crisis center in their area.



RAINN statistics report that, since their founding in 1994, they have been able to help over 300,000 sexual assault victims by providing information and counseling free of charge. All of this work has been done without funding from the nation's government. RAINN, a not-for-profit organization, is operated solely on the basis of donations and funding from corporations such as Atlantic Records, who offered the initial grants, Ticketmaster, NBC, and many more. Also, helping to support the work of this foundation are many musicians and actors, including Matchbox Twenty, Collective Soul, Dru Hill, Jennifer Anniston, and Michael J. Fox. These people help by offering time for advertisements, special concerts and performances to raise funds for RAINN.

Each time RAINN is mentioned in special stories in the media, on shows such as 20/20 or the Oprah Winfrey show, the hotline has received thousands of calls from victims across the country. There is an overwhelming need for help. This help is provided by volunteers. When a person volunteers, they are sent to one of the many crisis centers located in their area for duty. From administrative work and raising awareness right down to the counselors who take the calls, each is there ONLY to help those in need.

When a person volunteers through the website, they are sent information and have the opportunity to distribute literature in their area, and to actively participate at crisis centers filling in as needed.

Without such an organization, many of those helped would still be suffering silently with their ordeals. RAINN provides a rescue of sorts by putting victims within reach of helping hands.

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