Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,500,000)
The purpose of this award, funded under the OVC FY 2020 Advancing the Use of Technology to Assist Victims of Crime solicitation, is to support organizations that demonstrate innovative strategies to create, expand, or enhance the use of technology initiatives to improve response, services, and access for victims of crime.
The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) will use this award to create a staff-moderated online group support service, Youth HelpRoom. Youth HelpRoom will expand RAINNs existing HelpRoom platform, to serve youth (up to the age of 24) that have experienced sexual violence. The content and facilitation of Youth HelpRoom will be tailored to help reduce isolation and promote ongoing healing for survivors. RAINN will also create a texting and mobile app-based push notification content series to support survivors who experienced sexual abuse as children in their long-term recovery. The series will last for 4-8 weeks and will link to trauma-informed content designed to enhance survivors resilience. RAINN will use research-based approaches to develop content that complements the current National Sexual Assault Online Hotline model, and will incorporate feedback from survivors and staff to continually improve the service.