Tag Archives: RAINN

A Statement from RAINN, Time’s Up, and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence on the Justice Department’s Position in E. Jean Carroll’s Case Against Donald Trump

RAINN, Time’s Up, and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence released the following statement in response to the Justice Department’s position in E. Jean Carroll’s Case Against Donald Trump:

“We strongly disagree with the Justice Department’s decision to back Donald Trump’s position in this case. At the heart of E. Jean Carroll’s case against Donald Trump is the unassailable right for survivors to access accountability processes that lead to justice. Responding to an allegation that he raped Carroll long before he became president, Trump, in his personal capacity, made harmful statements about her. Protecting his remarks under the guise of ‘official duties’ as a government employee is the opposite of justice and sets an unacceptable precedent that would exempt any federal official from accountability for previous acts of violence and/or harassment. This DOJ decision is the kind of action that silences survivors and allows sexual violence to persist in the halls of power and throughout our society, and we urge the DOJ to reverse its position.”

About RAINN

RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, educate the public, help organizations improve their sexual assault prevention and response programs, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, free, confidential help is available 24/7 by calling 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visiting online.rainn.org.

About Time’s Up

By helping change culture, companies, and laws, TIME’S UP Now aims to create a society free of gender-based discrimination in the workplace and beyond. We want every person — across race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, gender identity, and income level — to be safe on the job and have equal opportunity for economic success and security. TIME’S UP Now is an independent, nonpartisan, and not-for-profit 501(c)(4) charitable organization.

About the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence

The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence educates the policy community about federal laws, legislation and appropriations impacting the fight to end sexual violence. Its team of experts and advocates, donating time away from their state and local groups, publish written analysis, track legislation, provide media interviews, and advise members of Congress and the executive branch.

RAINN Files Amicus Brief Arguing that Defaming Rape Victims Isn’t an Official Act of the Presidency

RAINN today urged the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to consider how a ruling in President Donald Trump’s favor in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit against him could have a chilling effect on survivors’ willingness to report sexual assault in the future. 

Trump claims that his alleged defamation of Carroll was part of his official job as president, and he had the Justice Department intervene to take over the case. RAINN’s amicus brief argues that Trump’s actions and words couldn’t have had less to do with the job of a president, and that ruling in his favor “would give license to all federal officials to slander and defame their victims with impunity. Such a decision would have a chilling effect on survivors of sexual violence throughout the country and would exacerbate the challenges survivors already face in holding their attackers accountable.”

“At the heart of this case is whether survivors will be allowed to access justice or whether their rights to be made whole will be foreclosed upon,” said Camille Cooper, vice president of public policy at RAINN. “This case will set a legal precedent for survivors of sexual violence for decades, so it is critically important that the court understand the stakes.”

The amicus was written by RAINN’s pro bono counsel, Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel, led by partner Zoe Salzman and law clerk Julian Oppenheimer, working with RAINN’s legislative policy counsel, Erin Earp, and legal fellow, Jessica Gaudette Reed. 

“The standards set in this case will have long-term impacts on the rights and recourse available to survivors of sexual assault who are seeking justice,” said Salzman. “We are honored to join RAINN and the other organizations on this brief in a case with such far-reaching implications on this critically important issue.”

Joining RAINN on the brief are Legal Momentum; the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence; the National Center for Victims of Crime; the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault; Safe Horizon; and Time’s Up.

“RAINN is especially grateful for the hard work and dedication that Zoe and the team at Emery Celli have shown in supporting victims of sexual violence,” said Cooper.

About RAINN

RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, educate the public, help organizations improve their sexual assault prevention and response programs, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, free, confidential help is available 24/7 by calling 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visiting online.rainn.org.

Guiding Survivors Out of the Woods

On the second day of her freshman year of college, Aspen Matis was raped. 

When “mediation” with her attacker failed, and the school inexplicably moved him into her dorm, Matis was traumatized, scared and left alone. Instead of moving him out, they moved her to a converted motel off campus, where she would sit, alone, staring at the cinder block walls. 

While there, Matis called the National Sexual Assault Hotline – created and operated by RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. 

“The person I spoke with was so amazing,” Matis says. “She told me things that sound so obvious in retrospect, but at the time they were revelations to me: ‘This was not your fault. You didn’t cause this. Short shorts don’t cause rape. Weed doesn’t cause rape. Rapists cause rape.’ Talking with a compassionate professional from RAINN became the first step in my healing process.”

After a handful of more calls with RAINN’s highly trained support specialists, Matis decided to leave college. Her new plan: walk the 2,500 miles from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail to raise money for RAINN.

Beyond operating the hotline and providing other victim services that have touched more than 3.2 million survivors and their loved ones since 1994, RAINN works with national media and the entertainment industry to elevate sexual violence storylines across the country. RAINN also works to expand the use of DNA in unsolved rape kits, reduce the backlog of untested rape kits, reform statute of limitations laws, broaden survivors’ access to appropriate medical care, protect young athletes, and bring perpetrators to justice. 

“We founded RAINN more than 25 years ago based on the belief that no survivor should feel alone,” says Founder and President Scott Berkowitz. “While supporting survivors will always be at the core of what we do, we have become the leading voice educating the public and fighting for survivors’ rights in Congress and the states.” 

In 2015, Matis wrote a memoir, “Girl in the Woods,” about her epic trek and painful recovery, which was propelled into the spotlight as a part of Oprah’s Book Club. As a member of the RAINN Speakers Bureau, Matis travels the country spreading awareness about sexual assault and rape, and its frightening frequency. Nearly one in four young women will have such an experience before leaving college.

“The reality is that sexual assault and rape are happening every day and everywhere,” Matis says. “The most convenient thing to do is to pretend that they are rare, because acknowledging this epidemic is uncomfortable and it’s sad and it’s scary. But by denying reality, averting your eyes and just willing it away, you are denying the validity of the struggles of so many people, and also denying them resources that may help them to heal and live a fulfilling life after.

RAINN is doing a wonderful and admirable service for the people who have been through the trauma of sexual assault and for anyone who knows someone or loves someone who has been raped.”