In Wake of Tragedy, Penn Staters Unite to Help Victims & Raise Funds for the National Sexual Assault Hotline

Washington, D.C., December 5th — In an astonishing display of Penn State pride the #ProudPSUforRAINN campaign reached its goal of raising $500,000 for RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. In less than one month thousands of Penn Staters and supporters from all over the country joined together to help victims of sexual assault.

RAINN will use the funds raised for prevention efforts and to help victims through the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, which is a popular resource for younger victims who feel more comfortable seeking help online. Since #ProudPSUforRAINN launched on November 9th, RAINN has seen a 54% increase in the number of victims using the Online Hotline. #ProudPSUforRAINN tweets have made over 13 million impressions.

"For victims of sexual abuse, one of the biggest issues they face is the fear that they are alone, and that no one will take their story seriously," says Katherine Hull, spokesperson for RAINN. "In the Penn State case, we are seeing positive support for these victims. It is being taken seriously, investigated and will go through the criminal justice process. Furthermore, we are extremely thankful to Penn Staters nationwide who have banded together to help something positive come from this tragedy.

“My co-founders, Jaime Needel, Bob Troia and Larena Lettow, Penn State '98, and I are incredibly proud of the Penn State community today, and honored to be part of it. Students, faculty, employees, alums, friends and parents of Penn Staters, fellow fans from other schools and a number of Big Ten Heisman winners all stood up —without hesitation — in a time of crisis to put the focus back on the victims,” said co-founder Jerry Needel. “The Penn State community is way bigger than the alleged actions of a few individuals and now, more than ever, we need to continue to show our pride — by attacking this cause, by supporting our student-athletes across all sports, by celebrating our diplomas, by showing the world what we are all about. Our actions will be what defines us as a community. We are hundreds of thousands strong and we will continue to make this right.”

Supporters everywhere have joined together to ensure something like this never happens again — anywhere. One alum and donor stated, “We are profoundly saddened by the events at Penn State. Hopefully, these horrific revelations will bring attention to RAINN's important work and enlighten our entire society on the need for constant vigilance. Thank you.”

It’s not too late to make your voice heard. You can join the conversation on Twitter: #ProudPSUforRAINN, and take action by donating and signing the online petition at

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About RAINN: RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization and was named one of “America’s 100 Best Charities” by Worth magazine. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotlines (800.656.HOPE and in partnership with more than 1,100 local rape crisis centers across the country. The hotlines have helped more than 1.5 million people since 1994. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice. For more information about RAINN, please visit, and join the conversations on Facebook (RAINN01) and Twitter (RAINN01, #ProudPSUforRAINN).

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