Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,999,968)
The Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest provider of services to survivors of sexual violence and a recognized leader in this field. RAINN established the National Sexual Assault Hotline, the country’s first, and still only-of-its-kind, hotline for survivors of sexual violence. Each day more than 800 people contact RAINN and are connected to a member of an expertly trained team of staff and volunteers who provide confidential, 24/7 support and assistance through call or chat. Since its founding nearly 30 years ago RAINN has provided more than four million people with lifesaving support, information, and resources, and has paved the way for justice for countless survivors of rape and sexual assault through its victim services, public education, and public policy programs. RAINN has the capability, experience, and unparalleled expertise to provide the high-quality, confidential, trauma-informed crisis intervention and resources survivors deserve. The care, quality, privacy, and anonymity afforded survivors through RAINN’s hotline services are uniquely suited to the needs of survivors from historically underserved and marginalized communities, who may feel especially anxious disclosing their histories of sexual assault, often for the first time.
Demand for RAINN’s hotline services increased in 2017 with #MeToo and then again with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. With the assistance of a private grant, RAINN is midway through its efforts to double hotline capacity to reduce wait times and help more survivors. OVC can ensure RAINN achieves this goal. This grant will further RAINN’s efforts to meet the increased demand for quality hotline support services for survivors of sexual violence by enabling RAINN to deliver 40,560 staff hours and 11,520 volunteer hours during the grant period. RAINN will expand its victim services staffing structure to maximize its response to more survivors and minimize hotline wait times. OVC funding also will assist RAINN to enhance its continuing education and coaching efforts to foster the proficiency, professional development, and overall engagement of staff and volunteers. This grant will enable RAINN to increase its outreach to survivors of sexual violence in historically underserved and marginalized communities, such as for LGBTQ+ and male youth, and Spanish speaking survivors. Finally, RAINN will pilot a confidential text line, providing survivors with increased access to RAINN’s critical, trauma-informed crisis hotline services.
RAINN is a current OVC grantee and will ensure that all proposed goals to serve sexual assault survivors 24/7 are met.