What are your thoughts of this website or online services in general?

RAINN Case Scenarios:

Both Sarah and Alan offer typical representations of the circumstances that lead one to use RAINN services. The questions following their scenarios should help you use them as a basis for broadening your understanding.


Sarah, 19, lives with her mother in a small, conservative, rural community. Sarah’s father died when she was 16 years old. Sarah’s uncle occasionally visits on holidays. Three months ago, on a recent visit by her uncle, while her mother was out of the house, her uncle told Sarah that he loved her and then threw her down on the couch and raped her. He later told her than she had seduced him, and to never mention what happened. Sarah was terrified, guilty, and didn’t know what to do. Later she was relieved to have her period. At least she wasn’t pregnant. But she became anxious and withdrawn. She wouldn’t go out, except to church with her mother. She had trouble sleeping and was filled with shame and guilt.


Alan, age 34, is a successful young man, married with one child. He is employed as a manager at a grocery store, where he has worked for the past five years. While his life appears stable to others, he lives with great inner turmoil. When Alan was 13, he was gang-raped on the way home from school by three older boys. Out of a sense of deep shame, he has never told anyone, including his parents or, later, his wife, about what happened. He continues to have violent nightmares and horrific dreams of being humiliated. Alan suffers from high blood pressure, headaches, sleeplessness, and anxiety. He is prone to temper outbursts with his family followed by guilt and depression. He sometimes thinks of suicide. One evening when he couldn’t sleep he typed, “Help for Rape Victims” into a search engine. The first link he found was for RAINN.org.

Answer the following questions and submit on Canvas.

1. Explore RAINN’s website at: https://www.rainn.org/ (Links to an external site.) How engaging and informative is the website? What resources are available for Sarah or Alan? https://routledgesw.com/interactive-cases/rainn/engage/rainn-components (Links to an external site.)

2. What is RAINN’s mission? https://www.rainn.org/about-rainn (Links to an external site.)

3. How could Alan or Sarah use the website to get help?

4. Why might consumers prefer an online rape crisis service to face-to-face agency services?

5. What are your thoughts of this website or online services in general? What elements of RAINN online services are problematic or worrisome for you? Why?

6. What service areas besides rape crisis services might be useful in an online format? Do these services already exist?

7. Take the following scale to evaluate your attitude of E-therapy(then self-score):

E-therapy Attitude Scale

E-therapy is defined as, “providing supportive or therapeutic counseling or mental health services via the Internet by email or chat”.

Scale: 1 = Strongly Disagree; 2 = Disagree; 3 = Neither agree or disagree; 4 = Agree; 5 = Strongly Agree

1. E-therapy is as effective as in-person psychotherapy.

Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

1 2 3 4 5

2. E-therapy is a good adjunct to in-person psychotherapy.

1 2 3 4 5

3. I would refer a client to a qualified e-therapist.

1 2 3 4 5

4. E-therapy is effective in maintaining security and confidentiality of communications and records.

1 2 3 4 5

5. Appropriate assessment can be done using E-therapy.

1 2 3 4 5

6. An online support group is as effective as an in-person support group.

1 2 3 4 5

7. I would refer a client to an online support group.

1 2 3 4 5

8. Counseling and therapy can be done effectively online.

1 2 3 4 5

9. Mental Health Centers and Family Service agencies should offer e-therapy options.

1 2 3 4 5

10. Insurance providers should pay for e-therapy sessions.

1 2 3 4 5

11. Some clients would do better with e-therapy than with in-person psychotherapy.

1 2 3 4 5

12. E-therapy is an effective follow-up tool after in-person services have been ended.

1 2 3 4 5

13. A good therapeutic relationship can be established through e-therapy.

1 2 3 4 5

14. E-therapists are well trained to provide online services.

1 2 3 4 5

15. There should be national licensure for e-therapists.

1 2 3 4 5

Add the score for each item (range: 15 – 75).

My total is: ________________________


15 – 30 Unsupportive of etherapy. Believes it is ineffective and/or unethical.
31 – 59 Neither supportive or unsupportive of etherapy. Mixed feelings or not sure about effectiveness and ethics of etherapy.
60 – 75 Supportive of etherapy. Believes it is effective and ethical.
8. What do you need to know about economic and social factors in your community that influence individuals’ access to online services such as these? How could you approach outreach and building awareness in particular target communities, with an eye towards these inequities and how people affected by sexual assault may experience them?

Look again over the components or services offered by RAINN: http://routledgesw.com//rainn/engage/components (Links to an external site.) AND

9. How does RAINN different from a traditional agency? What is meant by “Mandatory Reporting”?

10. What health and mental health consequences do victims of sexual assault experience? Read the introduction and pg. 28-31 to the pdf to see health and mental health consequences(may scan all of it to see stats and prevalence, if you’d like) https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/210346.pdf (Links to an external site.)

11. Answer additional questions from your HBSE textbook at the end of chapter 1 ( on RAINN). Here they are:

How would having multiple perspectives, referred to in this chapter as eclecticism, help RAINN serve the needs of both Sarah and Alan?
How should Rainn use the criteria for evaluating research to critically examine their own knowledge production (see quick guide on evaluating research in ch 1or below)? What kinds of processes might the organization institute to ensure that they are asking questions and conducting evaluation that will prove useful in practice with survivors of sexual violence?
What are the human development processes, family relationships, and societal forces that are impacted by Sarah and Alan’s experiences with sexual assault?