#MeToo: RAINN Turns Awareness Into Action

One year ago, many courageous survivors began sharing their experiences of sexual violence in a unified statement—#MeToo. Since then, countless other brave voices have joined together to elevate a critical national discussion by speaking out about sexual assault and harassment across every industry.

“The awareness that #MeToo has brought to the nation and world is a crucial first step, but it is just that—a first step,” says Scott Berkowitz, president and founder. “RAINN is working every day to turn that awareness into action through supporting survivors, increasing sexual violence prevention efforts, ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice, and helping companies and organizations improve the way they handle this issue.”

RAINN works to turn awareness into action in a variety of ways, including educating the public about sexual violence, working at the federal and state levels to improve the criminal justice system, and helping clients across public, private, and nonprofit sectors to develop targeted, effective sexual assault education and response programs.

RAINN’s victim service programs, including the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE and online.rainn.org), have helped 22,000 people per month since #MeToo began—in September, they helped a record 28,509 people. For many survivors, contacting the National Sexual Assault Hotline is the first time they will tell anyone that they were assaulted.

“We’re doing our best to keep up with the sustained effect #MeToo has had on the number of survivors reaching out for help,” says Berkowitz. “While we’ve hired more than 50 employees in the last year, at times we’ve still had wait times of up to 5.5 hours and up to 68 people in line to get help through the hotline. Last Friday, the hotline helped more than 3,000 people, a record. We need ongoing help from supporters to ensure we can continue to provide survivors with the support they deserve.”

“Each one of us has the power to help—through volunteering, fundraising, and speaking out on social media,” says Jodi Omear, vice president of communications. “Get involved today. Count yourself as part of the solution and together, let’s take #MeToo from awareness into action.”

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