November 14, 2007 – (Washington, DC) – RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization, has received the 2007 Technology Innovation Award from NPower, for the use of technology in the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline.
The NPower Technology Innovation Award recognizes nonprofits in the greater D.C. community whose innovative use of technology is enabling them to more effectively fulfill their mission. RAINN’s unique integration of technology in the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, which is currently in its pilot phase, has allowed RAINN to provide crisis support to victims of sexual assault who are more comfortable seeking help online.
“The National Sexual Assault Online Hotline is the first of its kind to provide web-based secure and anonymous live crisis intervention services. Nearly half of all sexual assault victims are under 18 so we had to find a way to provide this younger age group with the services they need using the technology they embrace,” said Penelope Hughes, RAINN’s Online Hotline Vice President. “RAINN created the next generation of the National Sexual Assault Hotline to meet the needs of this generation of victims.”
Using a secure and anonymous instant-messaging format, the Online Hotline allows sexual assault victims to communicate directly with trained crisis support volunteers from local rape crisis centers across the country. RAINN built the Online Hotline using a one-of-a-kind communications infrastructure that integrates security and anonymity at every level. To further ensure safety and anonymity, the application does not capture the IP address of users, and transcripts are not recorded or stored.
“RAINN is honored to receive the Technology Innovation Award from NPower and its partners who are leading the integration of cutting-edge technology into the nonprofit sector,” said Hughes.
“RAINN is an organization that exemplifies the ways that charities can and should use technology to dramatically increase their impact on our community. We’re proud to recognize them with this award,” said Katherine LaVelle, NPower Greater DC Region board member and Partner from Accenture.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization and was named one of “America’s 100 Best Charities” by Worth magazine. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) in partnership with 1,102 local rape crisis centers across the country. The hotline has helped more than one million people since its start in 1994. RAINN is now piloting the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, the first secure web-based crisis hotline providing live and anonymous support. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual assault, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice. For more information about RAINN, please visit rainn.org.
About the NPower Technology Innovation Award
NPower Greater DC Region and Accenture partnered in 2005 to start the Technology Innovation Award based on a similar program in Atlanta, Georgia called the Digital Ball. The goal of the annual award is threefold: to honor nonprofits that are using technology in innovative ways; to inspire more nonprofits to use technology to achieve their missions; and to encourage more corporations and foundations to invest in building the technological capacity of nonprofits.