New PSA Examines Experiences of Transgender Survivors with a Message that RAINN is Here for Everyone

 

This International Women’s Day, RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) has partnered with director Samantha Scaffidi of SMUGGLER and creative agency MIRIMAR to develop and craft a powerful awareness piece that highlights the fear and violence transgender women face every day. The public service announcement shows how RAINN supports all abuse survivors.

Walk explores how the discrimination that transgender survivors of sexual assault face surrounding their identities can create additional barriers to seeking help. This powerful PSA seeks to shift the conversation around these issues and ensure that survivors get the care and resources they need—because at RAINN, we help all survivors.

Walk is the second PSA Scaffidi has spearheaded for RAINN. In 2019, she created Wait, which examines the experience many survivors have while waiting to receive a sexual assault forensic exam, more commonly referred to as a rape kit. Due to a shortage of forensically-trained nurses and limited information on where to find them, survivors may have to travel long distances to find the nearest sexual assault forensic examiner or wait hours for an exam. This PSA shared why it's so important for Congress to legislation to improve access to critical care for survivors.

“It was always my desire to create a series of films addressing these issues,” says Scaffidi. “Each film enables us to show how a collective, universal trauma can affect different individuals and groups disproportionately. With the support of SMUGGLER my desire has become a reality. Wait was the first film highlighting systemic failure in our hospital systems. Our second film in the series addresses specifically how for transgender survivors of sexual assault, their identities – and the discrimination they face surrounding those identities – often make them hesitant to seek help from police, hospitals, shelters or rape crisis centers, the very resources that are supposed to help them. With the support of fellow creatives and RAINN, we can do so much to help shift the conversations surrounding these issues and take focused and purposeful action, ensuring that survivors get the care and resources needed.”

For Walk, Scaffidi collaborated with actor and model Leyna Bloom, a transgender rights advocate. Bloom was the first openly transgender model to appear on the cover of Vogue India and has walked runways in New York and Paris.

“As a survivor of sexual assault, this was a very personal project for me,” says Bloom. “I hope the film will help survivors, especially those of trans experience, not feel alone. This PSA is my poem that I have presented to you from lived in experiences. My piece of broken heart, let it help heal something or someone one.”

The aftermath of sexual violence can be frightening, difficult, and shocking for any survivor. In addition to the typical obstacles faced, transgender people face additional barriers and potential harassment because of their gender identity. This #InternationalWomensDay, RAINN wants survivors to know that we help and support survivors of all gender identities, races, sexual orientations, religions, and walks of life. We are here for everyone. Talk with one of our trained specialists on the National Sexual Assault Hotline today at 800.656.HOPE or online.rainn.org.

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