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RAINN Helping Victims of Sexual Assault Online
Date:4/14/2008

WASHINGTON, April 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization today launched a new service to provide support to victims online. Since 1994 RAINN has provided help to over 1.2 million people through the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE). Help is now also available through the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline at http://www.rainn.org.

Every 2 minutes another American is sexually assaulted. Almost half of these victims are under 18, and 80% are under 30. According to Scott Berkowitz, president & founder of RAINN, "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."

The secure web-based hotline provides a safe, secure and anonymous place for victims to get help online. Using an instant-messaging style format, the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline allows sexual assault victims to communicate directly with trained crisis support volunteers.

"The Online Hotline provides a solution to the dangerous trend of victims getting help online through insecure websites," explained Berkowitz. "Many young sexual assault victims are turning to the Internet for help through insecure chat rooms, blogs, and social networking sites. This dangerous trend of victims turning to the Internet for help leaves victims vulnerable to unreliable advice, exposes their identity, and makes their postings available to the world through Google."

RAINN worked with its technology partners to build the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline's innovative communications infrastructure from the ground up, integrating security and anonymity at every level. The Online Hotline does not cap
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SOURCE RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)
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