New Web Video Highlights Benefits of Online Hotline
RAINN has made it easier than ever for survivors of sexual violence to learn about reaching out for help and recovery. With the Office for Victims of Crime’s support, RAINN released a new web video about the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, which illustrates how survivors can receive confidential, live one-on-one help, through an instant messaging format by logging onto online.rainn.org.
Demand for the Online Hotline has surged — in February 2011, RAINN helped over 2,700 people through the Online Hotline, an increase of over 50% from the previous year. Since the Online Hotline’s inception in 2006, more than 73,000 people have been helped through the web based crisis intervention service. Together with the National Sexual Assault telephone Hotline (800.656.HOPE), over 1.5 million people have been helped since 1994.
“It was reassuring to know that I could get help on my terms,” said one college aged survivor in the new web video. “I visited the Online Hotline at three in the morning and was able to get the answers I needed to move forward and get my life back.”
The Online Hotline is a popular resource for younger victims who prefer to communicate online. Over half of victims of sexual violence are under the age of 18, and 80% are under age 30. Research and anecdotal information shows that young people feel more comfortable seeking help online, rather than picking up the telephone.
By illustrating the Online Hotline’s easy-to-use format, state-of–the-art technology, the new web video endeavors to inspire those who have not yet found their voice to seek the help they deserve and begin the road to recovery.
Speaking about the safety measures RAINN has taken to ensure Online Hotline users are safe online, an Online Hotline staff member in the video said, “RAINN has taken extra measures to ensure that your privacy is protected, and they’ll even walk you though safety steps for your computer. You can remain completely anonymous —the Online Hotline staff member will only know what you tell them, so you can share as little or as much as you want to talk about.”
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please know that the assault is not your fault and that you are not alone. It is never too late to get help. To connect with someone who can help you, visit the Online Hotline or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE). Free, confidential, 24/7.