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What to know about the National Sexual Assault Hotline

If there is one thing that child sex abuse victims wished they could do to end the shame, torment and pain they experience, it is to tell someone about what they are going through. The lack of such an outlet where their voices can be heard without judgment is something that keeps most survivors in their own personal hell.

Fortunately, there is now a hotline where abuse victims can get help. 

The National Sexual Assault Hotline provides a host of services for those who have recently been victimized or are dealing with the trauma of sexual abuse from past experiences. Among the many services, callers can obtain confidential support from a trained responder, help finding a local facility that can provide sexual assault forensic exams, as well as resources for the next steps in healing and recovery.

The hotline was created in 1994. Before that, there was no centralized resource for sex abuse victims to get help. Indeed, certain locales had helpful support systems, but there was no national network to help victims outside of specific locations. Today, the hotline is a collection of independent sex assault service providers who work together to help those in need and has helped more than 2 million children and adults who have been abused.

The National Sexual Assault Hotline can be reached at 800-656-HOPE and via online.rainn.org. While nearly all callers are immediately connected with a staff member, those who receive an answering service may leave a message in complete confidence. Those choosing to reach the hotline via the Internet can initiate a confidential online chat.  

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