RAINN Launches Two-Year, $10 Million Campaign to Serve Record-Breaking Numbers of Survivors

 

RAINN has launched the Thrive Together campaign, a strategic $10 million, two-year fundraising effort to increase critical resources to ensure RAINN is answering the call, shaping the narrative, and championing change to support all who are affected by sexual violence across the country.

For the past 26 years, RAINN’s victim service programs, including the National Sexual Assault Hotline, have been there for survivors and loved ones, providing free, confidential, 24/7 support to more than 3.5 million people.

“Unprecedented numbers of survivors and their loved ones have reached out to us for help this year," said Scott Berkowitz, president and founder of RAINN. "We've hired dozens of support specialists and trained hundreds more volunteers for the National Sexual Assault Hotline, but there's still work to be done to meet demand."

With double the number of survivors and others affected by sexual violence reaching out in recent years versus previous years, Thrive Together seeks to ensure that RAINN has the resources to continue to meet this demand.

“RAINN has been a leader in the field of sexual violence response and prevention for 26 years,” said Janet Jensen, the Jensen Project founder. “I heard about RAINN before I was involved. I followed [RAINN] over the years to know what was going on and to use RAINN statistics, which I always knew I could trust.”

“Getting involved with RAINN was a godsend for me,” said Jensen. “It was perfect timing to be able to work with a national organization I respected — and have been following for 17 years — as the crescendo of my work to help other survivors be able to speak out.”

“There’s more freedom to talk about sexual violence now than ever before,” says Jensen, a survivor herself and a lifelong advocate against sexual violence and exploitation. “Thirty-seven years ago when I went through this, that wasn’t the case. For me, it was the ability to talk through it that has helped me start to heal.”

RAINN’s Thrive Together campaign aims to help meet this growing need through three major strategic initiatives to support survivors and end sexual violence.

Answering the Call is RAINN’s initiative to expand our team of trained trauma-informed, survivor-centered support specialists; update and expand our online training program; and create new technological innovations to enhance our services to increase our capacity to help survivors, whether they seek us out in the immediate aftermath of an assault or decades later.

“There’s a misconception that, if it’s been 35 years since something happened to you, it must not be as big a deal anymore,” said Jensen. “But all these years later, I can take myself back to that worst moment in my life and play it like a movie in my head and then I am right there again. Healing takes a lifetime.”

Through Shaping the Narrative, RAINN works with the entertainment industry to lead the national conversation on sexual violence, raise awareness, and educate the public. By ensuring accurate and sensitive depictions of sexual violence in entertainment and media, important conversations can more easily happen in households and communities; RAINN also provides accessible resources through multimedia platforms to reach all corners of our nation.

“Every show or movie that has sexual violence in it should consult with RAINN about how to portray it in a sensitive way and should offer the hotline number for support at the end,” said Jensen. “You can’t put things out into the world and not offer help for those affected by them.”

RAINN’s initiative of Championing Change recognizes that thoughtful public policy is the key to transforming the way our country addresses sexual violence. We will build coalitions and launch strategic efforts to enact change and promote justice across the country; protect vulnerable populations from sexual abuse; and ensure all survivors have access to critical care and services.

“I don’t know if the rape kit I had done was ever processed or put in a database. If it had been processed, I could have gotten justice, I could have ensured the person who did this to me didn’t do it to others,” said Jensen. “My one ray of hope is that through ending the rape kit backlog and extending or getting rid of statutes of limitations laws, no one will have to go through what I went through.”

A successful campaign means transformative work and a true difference in the lives of survivors everywhere. Without the generosity of our earliest campaign supporters, this work would not be possible. “RAINN is proud to share that we surpassed our 50 percent fundraising milestone thanks to incredible financial commitments from Janet Jensen, National Leadership Council member and former hotline volunteer Marci Matthews, Platinum Corporate Partner Lyft, and MacKenzie Scott, as well as both loyal and new donors over the last year. They have made the campaign launch a reality to get us on track to meet and exceed our goal to truly Thrive Together,” says Berkowitz.

“Working with RAINN is another way for me to fill the gap of what it is I lost,” said Jensen. “Sexual violence takes a piece of your soul. It’s my mission to help survivors grow that piece of themselves back."

We know that, together, we can do more than survive — we will thrive. To join our effort, or for more information about the Thrive Together campaign, please contact RAINN’s vice president of development, Andrea M. Pagano-Reyes, at 202-306-9759 or andreap@rainn.org or visit rainn.org/ThriveTogether.

The rape kit backlog is currently one of the biggest obstacles to prosecuting perpetrators of sexual violence.

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Out of every 1,000 sexual assaults, 310 are reported to the police.

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