As the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) provides assistance to victims across the country. Holly and Rodney talk with founder Scott Berkowitz and one of the organization's supporters, Berit Francis, about why the organization is so important.
With the help of thousands of volunteers, RAINN runs national hotlines for victims of rape, abuse and incest, educates the public and offers awareness programs at more than 1,000 college campuses nationwide. The organization also provides one-on-one support with thousands of volunteers across the country who are trained to do everything from provide emotional support to teach people about the criminal justice process.
Berit, who was raped in 1991 and now volunteers with RAINN, says the RAINN network is a tool she only wishes she had when she was victimized. "Back in my day, I had nothing more than a piece of paper to reference to let me know that the feelings [I was experiencing] were normal kind of reactions to this kind of abuse," she says.
Scott says that having volunteers who have experienced similar situations is the key to helping others recover. "It's so important for [victims] to see people like Berit and to be so courageous and see where she has come and understand that it doesn't have to end your life," he says. "It's going to take time and work and the help of your family and friends, but you can get there."
Published on May 22, 2008