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RAINN Offers New Online Sexual Assault Hotline

April 16, 2008

RAINN, the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network, has operated a phone-based hotline for abuse victims for 14 years, but is now adding a new option for online support. The web-based hotline works like instant messaging, and the organization has ensured that IP addresses are not logged, transcripts of the chats are not saved, and other privacy measures are in place.

National spokesperson Christina Ricci noted that “The Online Hotline offers a lifeline to victims trapped in a situation where the Internet may be their only safe and secure link to the outside world and to getting help.”

I personally think this is an excellent idea, especially given the declining availability of pay phones, the possibility that a victim’s home phone use is being restricted or monitored, and the ability to “speak” to someone for help without needing to use one’s own voice (which may feel to personal to some individuals). It provides another option for seeking assistance, which is always a good thing.

USA Today also has coverage of this new service.

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