RAINN Virtual Volunteering

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The National Sexual Assault Hotline (NSAH), operated by RAINN, provides live, secure, and anonymous crisis support to survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones. Services are delivered through a simple instant message format so they are accessible to people who prefer confidentially communicating online.

NSAH volunteers are a critical part of RAINN’s mission and these (trained) volunteers are responsible for providing high-quality services to users of the NSAH.

Volunteers receive extensive and ongoing crisis-intervention training (and development and coaching support) to fully equip them to provide services on the hotline.

In 2021, volunteers contributed 33% of the total hours spent supporting survivors and their loved ones on the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

Benefits of volunteering with RAINN:

  • Provide crucial support to survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones from the comfort of your own home.
  • Receive extensive, ongoing, and up-to-date crisis intervention training; facilitated by RAINN professionals and completely free of charge.
  • Interact with experts in the field of sexual violence and an array of staff members and other volunteers nationwide.

Volunteer Qualifications:

  • Familiar with instant messaging and able to understand and execute written instructions.
  • Works well under pressure, maintains composure during stressful situations, and handles shifting and multiple priorities.
  • Willing and able to work a non-traditional schedule, including evenings and weekends.

RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline (NSAH) volunteers complete regular set-shifts, meaning that each volunteer has a uniform monthly schedule throughout the duration of their voluntarism. For example, a regular set-shift could look like the following: "Every other Tuesday from 6 pm-11 pm EST."

Set-shifts are a way to ensure the hotline is staffed to serve the highest number of visitors possible when they need us. Hotline shifts have been determined by analyzing the number of visitors throughout the day, so we can accommodate our operational needs. Set-shifts also allow for volunteers to plan ahead and incorporate their volunteer time into their personal schedules.

Before successfully submitting the volunteer application, the applicant must select at least three available set-shifts in their preferred range.

Volunteer Application Requirements:

  • At least 18 years of age at the time of submission.
  • Ability to type at least 35 words per minute.
  • For background check purposes, applicants must have a US Social Security number (SSN).
  • Reside and complete voluntarism with RAINN within the 50 states of the United States.
  • Have access to a password-protected, private, and stable wireless internet connection, and either a laptop or desktop computer in a private space.
  • Applicants must be proficient with technology and be able to navigate internet-based platforms.
  • To be part of the bilingual virtual volunteer program, the applicant must have complete fluency in both English and Spanish. For special accommodations, please contact the NSAH volunteer management program directly.

Volunteer Support Specialist Training:

  • After the completed application is submitted and approved to move forward by the volunteer recruitment coordinator, trainees begin the RAINN’s expert-created Essential Skills training.
  • The Essential Skills training consists of a 40-hour blended learning training that includes 26 hours of self-paced online courses, 12 hours across four live learning sessions, a 2-hour partnered role play, and three unit exams.
  • There are also two (2) supervised sessions on the online hotline when you will engage with survivors and receive one-on-one support from a licensed training supervisor. All training steps are completed remotely.

Interested in learning more about when applications will open, and receive quarterly communications from NSAH Volunteer Recruitment? subscribe to the volunteer interest list by filling out this form.

Give back to your community!

The volunteering opportunity with RAINN is only available online. However, some local sexual assault service providers (SASPs) recruit for in-person volunteering. SASPs support the National Sexual Assault Hotline by answering thousands of calls placed daily nationwide. SASPs are pivotal to the fight against sexual violence since they offer critical support to survivors, their loved ones, and their local communities. These local providers often look for volunteer staff to perform various functions, from administrative support to community service organizing to answering hotline calls.

Search for opportunities nearby!

Contact the volunteer management team at volunteerinfo@rainn.org for questions or concerns.


Eight out of 10 sexual assaults are committed by someone who knows the victim.

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