August 2011

Staying Safe on Campus: A Little Common Sense Goes a Long Way

back to schoolTrust your instincts, use your cell phone as a tool, and don’t let your guard down until people earn your trust: these are just a few of the common sense tips RAINN released for back-to-school safety this month, as 14 million students head back to college.

College-aged women are at the highest risk for being sexually assaulted and, in most cases, the attacker is someone whom the victim knows. Being aware of this risk and looking out for friends are the first steps in staying safe.

This year's safety tips focus on practical things students can do to keep themselves and their friends safe. The tips go beyond standard campus resources, like security escort teams and emergency phones, and address the risks that exist from those who aren’t strangers.

Learn more simple ways you, or your favorite college student, can maximize safety on campus.

87,476 Victims Take Their First Step Towards Recovery Online

Five years ago this month, RAINN thelp buttonransformed the field of victim services with the launch of the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, the web’s first secure hotline service. The Online Hotline’s innovative approach and cutting edge technology have allowed victims and survivors to get the help they deserve online — safely, securely, and anonymously.The Online Hotline’s innovative approach and cutting edge technology have allowed victims and survivors to get the help they deserve online — safely, securely, and anonymously. The Online Hotline has also greatly expanded the universe of victims reaching out for help by offering an alternative to the traditional telephone hotline; it’s become a lifeline for those who aren’t able to speak out loud about their experience.

Since 2006, more than 87,000 survivors have been helped through the Online Hotline and, unfortunately, that number continues to grow each day. "In our first month of service, the Online Hotline helped an average of 7 people; today RAINN's hotline staff helps an average of 88 people a day," said Jen Marsh, the director of RAINN's hotlines. Read more...

Take a tour to learn more about the Online Hotline.

Join the Fight Against Sexual Violence
on Your Campus

Make a difference on your campus and sign up to host a RAINN DAYrainn day 2011 event that is as unique as you are!  RAINN Day is RAINN’s annual campaign to educate college students about preventing, and recovering from, sexual assault.

To implement RAINN Day nationally, RAINN recruits volunteer organizers on each campus. RAINN provides organizers with detailed planning and promotion guides, and free digital materials such as posters and brochures.

Organizers, who include students, college administrators and campus police forces, tailor events to fit the needs of each campus, and help motivate their community to take a stand against sexual violence.

This year, Cosmo has teamed up with RAINN to promote RAINN Day, and will feature the best events on the magazine’s website.

Sign up today to host a RAINN DAY event on September 22.


 RAINN in the News

“Be mysterious online. Think twice before leaving status or away messages and when using the check-in feature on Facebook or Foursquare. Posting your whereabouts exposes details that are accessible to everyone, and allows people to track your movements. Think of it like this: If you wouldn’t reveal the info to a stranger, then don’t put it on your profile.”
Cosmopolitan magazine profiling RAINN’s Back to School Safety Tips

“Right now only about 4 out of 10 victims report their attack to police.  So we really encourage people to do that even in the wake of a case like this.  Rapists tend to be serial criminals and the only way to get them to stop attacking more people is to report it and go through prosecution.”   — Scott Berkowitz, founder and President of RAINN discussing the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case on NPR’s Morning Edition with Carrie Johnson

MS logoMs Magazine
“With the photographing, the scraping, the probing, you’re in stirrups or in the gown for about two hours, at least. I think that’s part of the reason that I’m fighting so hard to get this DNA backlog legislation [the SAFER Act] passed in Washington, because it’s such a personal experience to get those items in [the rape kit] — those samples, those tests — that you feel like a piece of you is sitting in that box on the shelf in the police station that nobody’s testing.”
— RAINN Speakers Bureau Member Julie Weil, on the importance of passing the SAFER Act, in Ms. Magazine

ABC NewsABC News
“The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) estimates that one in six women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime, with 73 percent of victims knowing their assailants.”
ABC News

BulletBullet Magazine
“That character was manifesting her own victimization as a way of trying to have some control over what happened to her as a child. That powerlessness left her terrified to be alone, so she perpetuated her own abuse by being the ‘slutty girl.’ That’s what I mean about being drawn to certain roles — maybe people who watch that film will think twice about abusing, discarding, and disrespecting the girl they call the ‘town slut.’"
— Actress and RAINN spokeswoman Christina Ricci, on her character in the film Black Snake Moan, in Bullet magazine

Rep Boswell
Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA)

Lawmakers Making a Difference
“As a longtime supporter of initiatives that assist victims of crime and abuse, I share RAINN’s commitment to empowering victims of sexual assault and providing them with the support necessary to find safety and peace of mind.  I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to fund groups likes RAINN and provide law enforcement with the tools necessary to pursue justice on behalf of those who have been abused.  I am confident that in working together we will continue to improve safety in all of our communities.”
-- Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA)

Rep Boswell
Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA)

"RAINN goes beyond just raising awareness by engaging in important public policy debates and providing important tools to fight sexual assault. I am pleased to join with RAINN and colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advocate on behalf of the victims of sexual violence. HR 1523 will be an important tool in this fight by helping ensure the accurate and efficient use of DNA evidence."
-- Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA)


Minneapolis "Unlocks the Silence"
for RAINN's 17th Birthday

MN EventMinneapolis celebrated RAINN’s 17th birthday in style with a bash at Seven Skybar. Twin Cities supporters, including corporate partners General Mills, Target, and JB Hudson Jewelers, turned out for the event hosted by RAINN National Leadership Council member Jane Schwartzman and Julie Miller. Grammy winner Jamecia Bennett provided the entertainment.

Scott Berkowitz, president and founder of RAINN, said that Minneapolis has long been very supportive of RAINN’s work. “Jane and Julie hosted an incredible event,” said Berkowitz, “and the night was a big success thanks to the generosity of the Minneapolis community. The support they’ve provided will help us continue operating the Online Hotline, which this year will help tens of thousands of victims.”

More News
Mick Foley Will Host YOUR Party for $10!

Here’s your chance to have all-time wrestling great Mick Foley host a WWE Smackdown viewing party for you and 20 friends!

Mick FoleyAll it takes for a chance to hang out with Mick and receive a special piece of memorabilia from one of his classic matches is $10 — get the details here. Be everyone’s favorite friend, and send your buddies home with an autographed photograph of Mick. Proceeds will benefit RAINN and Surgance. Purchase your raffle tickets before 11am ET on Friday, September 9.

Spotlight on the Speakers Bureau: Brian Tosko Bello
Brian Tosko Bello

“Being a part of the RAINN Speakers Bureau and just knowing that RAINN actively exists has been instrumental in my ongoing journey to deal with darker events in my past. I am honored to do my part in raising awareness about RAINN in group settings as well as one-on-one conversations. Anyone who has been violated has his or her own path to healing. Being a part of the RAINN Speakers Bureau has been the most rewarding healing experience I have had since I opened up and decided to share. Thank you RAINN!”

Learn more about becoming a member of RAINN's speakers bureau

Volunteer Spotlight: Alice, Online Hotline Volunteer

“Each time someone speaks to me on the Online Hotline, I feel needed. When someone pours their heart out to me, I feel trusted—and when someone tells me they're going to find help, I feel accomplished.  I think the Online Hotline is a great tool for people seeking help anonymously. It enables people to speak up who otherwise wouldn't.  Through RAINN I get to be part of an organization that fights a culture of violence and victim-blaming, and that means more than I can express in words.  The best part about it is that I can change the course of someone's life with a 1-hour conversation.”

Learn more about volunteering for RAINN

Join @RAINN01 on Twitter

TwitterWant to stay updated about RAINN news and events and fun ways to get involved? Start following RAINN on Twitter today. You can also spread the word by re-tweeting our posts and encouraging your friends to follow RAINN.

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