Scott Berkowitz on the Formation of RAINN
RAINN is an American nonprofit anti-sexual assault organization established in 1994. The organization’s website provides information on sexual abuse, stalking, and related subjects. RAINN also runs the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-4673), giving support programming and assisting victims throughout the country. RAINN has almost 100 affiliated support centers in the United States. RAINN also offers free online chat by experienced RAINN volunteers and free online e-mail support for victims of sexual assault and rape.
RAINN was founded in 1994 by Scott Berkowitz and four other people. It had its first office in Arlington, Virginia. In the decade after its founding, RAINN opened offices in Washington D.C., New York City, and Los Angeles. Berkowitz states that two events inspired him to start RAINN. A friend told the first the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that 14 people a day are sexually assaulted on aircraft. Berkowitz said this fact moved him to tears, and he began thinking of his adult female friends who had been victims of sexual assault. Berkowitz states that he has estimated the number of American women victims of sexual assault between 15 and 20 times in their lives.
RAINN’s mission is to end sexual violence through prevention and education. RAINN also works to eliminate sexual violence and rape through policy reform, supporting services for survivors, and inspiring change in attitudes about rape. This can be achieved by raising public awareness about the subject. RAINN calls attention to the prevalence of sexual assault in our societies and the social and cultural factors that contribute to the problem.
RAINN has a nationwide network of affiliate organizations that support its goals. These affiliates work to educate the public, provide services for victims and survivors, and raise awareness about sexual violence. RAINN also works with institutions to provide more resources for victims at all education levels and interventions for rape on college campuses.
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