Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Private, Free Counseling for Rape and Incest Victims via KnowNow's RSS-powered RAIN Network

What is the "Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN)"? It's a powerful new way for victims of rape and incest to get qualified help in a way that's become increasingly comfortable for young people -- online.

Here's the official information -- please pass it along to those you think might benefit from it.
The pilot launch of the Online Hotline will begin in May, with a national launch expected in September. For more info, visit www.rainn.org/programs/online-hotline.

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KnowNow Inc., a market leader in RSS content delivery and communication and notification services, today announced that it is providing application development services and its eLerts RSS solution to connect a victim with an available trained volunteer as soon as they need one, through RAINN’s newly announced secure online hotline. To ensure protection of each individual who has a query or a need to talk to a counselor immediately, the request is connected to one of RAINN’s trained volunteers quickly, securely and anonymously.

RAINN will launch the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline in the fall, which will be the web's first secure hotline service, offering live help 24 hours a day.

Given that calls to the national telephone hotline continue to increase (the free hotline helped up to 137,039 people in 2005, up 44% in the last three years), research and observation are finding an increased reluctance among young people to use the phone. Since 80% of rape victims fall under age 30, adding an online way to communicate is a critical component to making the program a success.

In addition to KnowNow’s RSS solution, RAINN is partnering with other key technology players to make this a reality in the fall, including AOL, Verisign, Accius and McAfee.

How It Will Work:

One click will take users from rainn.org to the Online Hotline. There, they will anonymously request help and be connected to a trained volunteer for live, one-on-one support. The user's screen will be as clear and intuitive as instant messaging, so there's no learning curve. Sessions cannot be traced back to a user. No record of the session or user remains after a chat reinforcing privacy and confidentiality, so victims know that when they reach out, it remains anonymous.

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