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For Instructors - RAINN

The Case of The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)

The Internet has provided a platform for the delivery of health and mental health services to consumers. The RAINN National Sexual Assault Online Hotline is a new model for delivery of rape and sexual assault crisis services through a secure, confidential chat-based online hotline.

RAINN is a private, nonprofit organization whose service delivery is through telephone and online hotlines. The online hotline, the focus of this case, uses trained staff and online volunteers, provides training through affiliated rape crisis centers, and uses online supervisors to provide supervision and support to staff and volunteers. Services include crisis intervention, problem solving and information and referral. It is important for students to know that these new services exist, to think critically about their service model and its relationship to social work ethical principles, and to take an evidence-based approach to judging the effectiveness of these new services.

The RAINN Case provides:

  • Background information about RAINN
  • Description of the RAINN service model
  • Description of RAINN's organizational structure
  • Description of the RAINN evaluation plan
  • Examples of research instruments used in the evaluation of RAINN
  • Research data from a RAINN evaluation in Excel and SPSS formats that can be used by students to practice data analysis

The case has four sections:

  • Engage: This section includes the RAINN organizational chart, program components, funding, ecomap of collaborations, and goals. In addition, two brief scenarios describe the reasons people might seek RAINN services
  • Assess: This section describes the sources of RAINN evaluation data, including system data from the RAINN computer system, user survey, staff/volunteer survey, and questions used in a focus group of RAINN volunteers
  • Intervene: This section describes the RAINN intervention system with an emphasis on the RAINN website and online hotline. It includes a RAINN FAQ and a RAINN Tour of the hotline
  • Evaluate: This section includes the purpose of the RAINN evaluation with data examples from a recent evaluation. It also includes a section on evaluation questions that cannot be answered using the current evaluation model. The section also includes data files in SPSS and Excel that students can use to examine the effectiveness of RAINN and practice their statistical skills

A Note to Instructors about The RAINN Case

by Jerry Finn, Professor Emeritus, University of Washington, Tacoma