New Portal Launches for 4,000 Speakers Bureau Members

The Speakers Bureau is made up of nearly 4,000 members who have survived sexual violence.These individuals represent a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. Sara Snyder, RAINN’s speakers bureau coordinator, is leading the launch of a new online portal for Speakers Bureau members, and a new application process for those who would like to join.

What is the Speakers Bureau?

The Speakers Bureau is a community of survivors of sexual violence who want to advocate and tell their story to the public. Our Speakers Bureau members are made up of an array of folks. We have members from across the country, of different backgrounds and survivors of different types of sexual violence. We have survivors of rape, sexual assault, incest, intimate partner violence, and childhood sexual abuse. This is a group of survivors who are strong, kind-hearted advocates who want to educate the public about sexual violence awareness.

Why has RAINN launched a new online portal for members?

We wanted to create a community for our members, and also make it easier to match them up with community groups and other organizations looking for speakers.

How can people request that a member of the Speakers Bureau address their group?

Local organizations, school groups, and media can visit Request A Survivor to find information, and then email us the details.

If you’d like to request a member of the Speakers Bureau to address your group, please send an email to speakersbureau@rainn.org with your contact information and event information.

RAINN is accepting applications for individuals who would like to join the Speakers Bureau. What kind of opportunities does it offer for new members?

I am really excited to start planning new opportunities for new members. Opportunities may include being invited to film releases, getting connected to reporters who are seeking answers from a survivor, educators looking for a speaker, and students wanting to learn more from your experience.

What are some engagement, advocacy and training ideas you have in mind for Speakers Bureau members?

I have so many ideas for engagement, advocacy, and training. My biggest focus as I step into this role is to bring more engagement opportunities for members, either between myself and members or member-to-member. Other ideas are creating a mentorship program and peer-to-peer support groups. I think it is so important to provide members with as many opportunities to talk about pressing issues that matter to them. So please stay tuned for the development of these ideas and for future listening session dates because I want to hear from you!

What is your message to survivors?

My message to survivors is, I see you, I hear you, and I thank you. Thank you for showing up on your good and bad days. Thank you for taking care of yourselves. Thank you for speaking up and bringing these issues to light. RAINN might be many things; we can advocate for policy change and inform the public about these issues, but we would really be nothing if we didn't have folks that volunteer their time through various outlets like the Speakers Bureau, taking chats on the NSAH and volunteering at their local sexual assault service provider. These are such hard times when there are so many media outlets, like the film and TV industry, putting sexual violence right in front of our faces, so please also remember to take care of yourself. And remember that it is okay not to be okay

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