Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), the largest anti-sexual assault organization in the US, launched an online counseling service yesterday. According to RAINN's press release, the organization has already helped over 1.2 million victims of sexual assault through its National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-HOPE). The National Sexual Assault Online Hotline will reach a new generation of people who are often more comfortable online than on the phone.
Scott Berkowitz, president and founder of RAINN said, "The National Sexual Assault Online Hotline provides the services these young victims need, using the technology they embrace. The Online Hotline provides a safe way to begin recovery by using extensive security measures to guarantee that the visitor remains completely anonymous."
USA Today reports that a growing number of organizations are using technology like the internet and text messaging to reach out to teenagers. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has pages on MySpace and Facebook to encourage teens to call their telephone hotline. The National Domestic Violence hotline created phone and internet hotlines for teen dating violence.
RAINN reports that every two minutes, someone in the US is sexually assaulted. Almost half of these people are under the age of 18.
Media Resources: RAINN Latest News 04/14/08; RAINN National Assault Online Hotline FAQs; USA Today 04/14/08; Feministing.com 04/15/08