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Privacy PolicyPrivacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Online Privacy Policy Effective Date: April 16, 2008

This Online Privacy Policy is intended to describe how the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network ("RAINN") handles information gathered at ("") and the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline, which is reached through, or through (the "Online Hotline"), or related sites of that may be used to access the Online Hotline. By visiting, or using the Online Hotline, you agree to follow the terms and conditions of this Online Privacy Policy. RAINN may change these terms and conditions from time to time without prior notification, so please consult these terms and conditions regularly for any such changes.

Your privacy and security are very important to us. The following information will help you understand what information we collect online, and how we handle that information once we collect it. This policy will tell you if we disclose that information to anyone, and what choices you have regarding how we use that information. Please note that this Online Privacy Policy applies only to and to the Online Hotline website, and not to the websites of any other organizations to which we may link or that may link to us.

Collection of Information About You

If you are using the Online Hotline, then please read Section A, which tells you how RAINN gathers information from users of the Online Hotline.

If you are using, then please read Section B, which tells you how RAINN gathers information from users of Note, if you are only using the website generally and are not using the Online Hotline, Section A (immediately below) does NOT apply to you; you should read Section B.

If you decide to use the Online Hotline and then use the website separately or during the same time frame, your use of the Online Hotline cannot be connected to your use of

A. Online Hotline.

We operate the Online Hotline in conjunction with participating rape crisis centers ("RCCs") and the Rape Crisis Center for Children & Adults ("RCCCA"). The RCCs provide trained volunteers to help you during online sessions, and RCCCA provides trained supervisors to help monitor online sessions. Any information that you share during an Online Hotline session will be viewed by the trained volunteer assisting you, and may also be viewed by one or more supervisors from a RCC or the RCCCA for quality control purposes. 

Online Hotline sessions may also be viewed by RAINN staff.

If you provide feedback through an anonymous feedback survey following your session, that feedback may be shared with the trained volunteer assisting you, and with personnel at RAINN and the participating RCC. However, the feedback will be anonymous, and we will not ask for your name or any personal information, or attach any feedback to information that you provide during your Online Hotline session.

Personally Identifiable Information:

"Personally Identifiable Information" is information about you that would identify you, such as your name or address. The Online Hotline is intended to be an anonymous service and you will NOT be asked to provide your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, or any other Personally Identifiable Information at any time during your use of the Online Hotline. In fact, RAINN specifically requests, for your own safety and anonymity, that you do not provide any such Personally Identifiable Information when you use the Online Hotline. In addition, the Online Hotline does not capture any Personally Identifiable Information about you or your computer, before or during your use of the services.

The information and text conveyed by you to our trained volunteers during your online chat session is intended to be part of a private conversation between you and the trained volunteer, and will NOT be recorded, stored, saved, or catalogued by RAINN. However, in order to determine usage levels and average session length, and for other recordkeeping purposes, an entry will be made in a database containing the start and stop time of each session. RCCs and the RCCCA may also collect information for their own recordkeeping purposes. Such information will not identify you personally.

Please note, however, that some states require us to record and report information regarding the abuse of someone less than 18 years of age, or vulnerable or disabled adults, including persons over 60 years of age, or persons who are in danger of committing suicide. If you convey such circumstances, and provide information that could lead us to identify your name and location, we may have to record such information and provide it to the appropriate authorities.

Aggregate Data & Cookies: We automatically gather, or aggregate, certain usage information, such as the number of users of the Online Hotline, length of stay, and average length of sessions. This data cannot be used to identify you personally, and helps us to determine how often the Online Hotline is being used, at what times of the day, and other useful statistics. We may use this aggregate data for internal recordkeeping and service improvement purposes, and also may share it with sponsors, supporters, or the media.

The Online Hotline does NOT place any permanent or "persistent" cookies on your computer, although does use session cookies (see below). The cookies placed by cannot be used to identify you as a user of the Online Hotline.


Personally Identifiable Information:

General. In general, visitors may browse without being requested to reveal any Personally Identifiable Information. However, there are pages on, such as donation pages, where we may request Personally Identifiable Information about you, such as your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, or credit card number. may also collect information such as your computer's IP address. RAINN may seek such information in order to register you as a supporter of RAINN, to enable your making a donation or purchasing merchandise, or to use certain parts of the website. In addition, we may use such information to analyze site usage for, to improve our content, to better understand our member and supporter base and to customize our site's content, layout, and services. Finally, we may use your e-mail address to send you updates or newsletters apprising you of recent events and developments relating to RAINN and its mission, or receipts for your charitable donations. RAINN will not sell, trade or share a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor will we send donor mailings on behalf of another organization, unless you have given us explicit permission to do so; this policy applies to all donations made by mail, via our website, via employee withholding, or any other means.

Registration. In order to use many of the features of, you will be asked to register with RAINN. The information you submit as part of the registration process is used to update and maintain our files. We collect and save such information so that you are not required to submit it every time you use a feature. When you register with us, you will be asked to provide your e-mail address and select a password. You will also be asked to provide certain other personal information so that we may readily identify you. The RAINN website is designed to process and maintain accurately the information that you share with us. You are invited to access our website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to change your profile information, and are encouraged to provide us with feedback.

Other Uses. We may use internal service providers to facilitate our services, and, therefore, may provide some of your Personally Identifiable Information directly to them. In addition, we may employ other companies and individuals to perform functions on our behalf, such as website hosting, data analysis, and providing customer service. These companies and individuals will only have access to Personally Identifiable Information needed to perform their functions, and may not use it for any other purpose.

We use Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. ("Google"), which uses cookies and tracking code to help analyze how visitors use our website. The information collected (including what browser and operating system you are using, your IP address, the pages on our website that you visit, your number of page views, and the time you spend on our website) is transmitted to and stored by Google. 

Google uses this information for the purpose of evaluating visitors' use of our Online Hotline website in an aggregate manner, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and Internet usage. Google may transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or to third parties that process information on Google's behalf. You can read Google's privacy policy at

Opt-Out Procedures: When you register at, we may send you e-mails or newsletters, to update you on events and developments pertinent to RAINN and our charitable goals. If you do not want to receive such e-mails, please email and we will remove you from our lists. Note that donation and/or volunteer information will remain in RAINN's databases. To review or correct your contact information, or to provide other instructions regarding use of your Personally Identifiable Information, please contact us through or the address listed below.

Aggregate Data & Cookies: We automatically gather, or aggregate, certain usage information, such as the number and frequency of visitors to, length of stay, and other anonymous data. This data helps us determine usage levels on different parts of, and to conduct other internal research. In addition, we may aggregate such data and disclose it in a non-personally identifiable manner to sponsors, supporters, and other third parties, to generate support for RAINN, its mission and its services, or as required by law. In these situations, we do not disclose any information that could be used to identify you personally.

For example, uses "session ID cookies." In general, a "cookie" is a small piece of text data stored on a user's computer by a website, in order to give that computer a unique identity to the website while performing certain processes, such as filling an online shopping cart and checking out, or calculating the number of unique visitors at a given time. Cookies may contain personal information, like email addresses, usernames, or passwords, or completely anonymous information, like a randomly generated number. They may be deleted once a user leaves the site, leaves a section of the site, or closes the browser; or they may remain, so that the website "remembers" the user when he or she next visits.

On, we use two session ID cookies. The first is used to measure the amount of overall traffic on our website; we use this data only in the aggregate, meaning no individual user can be identified from the data. This cookie is in no way linked to Personally Identifiable Information, and is deleted from the user's computer when the user closes his or her browser. The second session ID cookie is only used when a user is making a donation or purchasing merchandise. This cookie carries a user's form entries from one page to another, and is deleted once the user leaves the "Donate" section of We do not use permanent cookies, which retain information past a user's current visit.

How We Protect Your Security

RAINN stores all information on a secure server that is only accessible by RAINN employees or contractors, pursuant to the terms described above. Again, we do not store transcripts of communications over the Online Hotline.

We care about the security of your personal information, and therefore have chosen to use VeriSign as a security solutions provider.

We employ different security techniques to protect your personal information from unauthorized access by users inside and outside of our organization, including standard encryption practices. You should be aware, however, that "perfect security" does not exist anywhere on the Internet. ALTHOUGH WE BELIEVE WE TAKE APPROPRIATE MEASURES TO SAFEGUARD AGAINST UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURES OF INFORMATION, WE CANNOT ASSURE YOU THAT YOUR PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION OR COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE ONLINE HOTLINE WILL NEVER BE DISCLOSED IN A MANNER INCONSISTENT WITH THIS POLICY, AND MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES REGARDING THE SUFFICIENCY OF OUR SECURITY MEASURES.

Always be careful and responsible regarding your personal information. We are not responsible for, and cannot control, the use by others of any information which you provide or divulge to others, purposefully or inadvertently, including your e-mail address and password for or the Online Hotline. For more information on how to keep your computer safe, please read our User Safety Procedures.

How to Review, Update or Delete Your Information

Please contact our Privacy Coordinator at or at the address listed further below to obtain, change or update our records of your personal information.

How We May Share Information

We do not publish, sell, share, or rent information about you in ways different from what is disclosed in this statement. However, we, including trained volunteers, RCCs, and RCCCA, may be forced to disclose information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances. We may be required to (and you authorize us to) reveal any information about you that we possess to law enforcement or other government officials as we, in our sole discretion, believe is necessary or appropriate, in connection with the investigation of a crime, mandatory reporting laws, fraud, intellectual property infringement, or other activity that is illegal, or may expose us, or you, to liability. Also, if we, or a trained volunteer, RCC, or RCCCA, fear that you are in danger of committing suicide, or are under 13 years old, we, or the trained volunteer, RCC, or RCCCA, may be required to disclose whatever information you have provided to the appropriate authorities.

Trained volunteers are located across the United States, and may not be licensed in your state or trained in your state's law. The laws of the trained volunteer's state may apply to your communications with that trained volunteer. The volunteer's state laws may not protect your communications to the same degree, or in the same way, as the laws of your state. For instance, your state might recognize a privilege to communications with the Online Hotline — meaning that the state may allow you to keep such communications private — but the volunteer's state might not recognize such a privilege. It is possible that a court of law will not keep private, and may require us to reveal, information that you provide during your Online Hotline session. If you are concerned about this possibility, please use the telephone hotline instead, at 1.800.656.HOPE (4673); the trained volunteer who answers your phone call will be able to provide you with further information regarding the privileged communication laws in your state.

The data that we collect, and therefore may share, is limited in the manner described above.

Our Policy Towards Children

We are concerned about the safety and privacy of children who use the Internet. Consistent with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, we will never knowingly request Personally Identifiable Information from anyone under the age of 13 without prior verifiable parental consent. If we become aware that a child under 13 has provided us with Personally Identifiable Information through without verifiable parental consent, we will use our best efforts to remove such information from our files. If a parent or guardian becomes aware that his or her child has provided us with Personally Identifiable Information through without verifiable parental consent, he or she should contact RAINN at 202.544.2348 or

Other Information Collectors

Except as otherwise expressly included in this Online Privacy Policy, this document addresses the use and disclosure of information that we collect from you. If you disclose your information to others, different rules may apply to their use or disclosure of such information. We do not control the privacy policies of others. We encourage you to ask questions before you disclose your personal information to others.

Your Consent and Changes in Privacy Pledge

By using the Online Hotline or, you consent to the terms set forth in this Privacy Policy and the Website User Agreement. We may, from time to time, make changes to this Online Privacy Policy, based on your comments and our need to reflect accurately our data collection and disclosure practices. If we make any substantial changes in the way we use your personal information, this page will be updated on

If you have any questions or suggestions about this privacy policy, please contact Alternatively, you can mail RAINN at:

Privacy Coordinator
2000 L St. NW
Suite 406
Washington, DC 20036

Please only address questions about the privacy pledge to the above address. If you are concerned about a specific page, please email

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