A New Way for Spanish-Speaking Survivors to Support One Another

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La Sala de Ayuda offers peer support for Spanish-speaking survivors of sexual assault

A group setting can help survivors connect with others to strengthen self-confidence, increase resiliency and promote individual healing.

A brand-new peer-support service is available today as part of RAINN’s commitment to supporting Spanish-speaking survivors of sexual assault. La Sala de Ayuda is a confidential chat room service that offers survivors another way to get help and support. Last year, the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline launched Spanish hotline services at rainn.org/es. RAINN’s top content is also now available in Spanish to offer survivors important information about things like the rape kit process and how to spot child abuse.

La Sala de Ayuda (Help Room), is similar to a group chat service. Up to 10 survivors will take part in each group session, which is moderated by a RAINN staff member. Participants decide as a group what topics to focus on during the session.

“The addition of a group-based service means that survivors and their loved ones can better understand that they are not alone,” said Candice Lopez, program manager for the National Sexual Assault Hotline. “We know that a group setting can help survivors connect with others to strengthen self-confidence, increase resiliency and promote individual healing.”

La Sala de Ayuda, like all of RAINN’s other services, is designed with privacy and safety top-of-mind: no chats are saved, and no IP addresses are stored. Participants can leave at any time, and can also messages the moderator privately with a question or concern.

Josue Melendez, a moderator for La Sala de Ayuda, says of RAINN’s newest service, “It provides the space to speak about your experience, and receive knowledge that can benefit [survivors] in the road to recovery. Sometimes the Spanish community may not have support from family when it comes to sexual assault. La Sala de Ayuda gives you hope that you are not alone.”

Anyone impacted by sexual violence can join La Sala de Ayuda on Wednesdays and Fridays from 7 pm to 9 pm ET. La Sala de Ayuda is made possible through a Vision 21 grant from the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime.

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual violence, it’s not your fault. You are not alone. Help is available 24/7 through the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org, and en espanol: http://www.rainn.org/es.

Si usted o alguien conocido ha sido afectado(a) por la violencia sexual, no es su culpa. Usted no está solo(a). Hay ayuda disponible las 24 horas del día, 7 días por semana por medio de la Línea de Ayuda Nacional Online del Asalto Sexual: 800.656.4673 y http://www.rainn.org/es.

About RAINN
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization and was named one of "America's 100 Best Charities" by Worth magazine. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. In 2015, the Online Hotline expanded to offer services in Spanish at rainn.org/es. The hotlines have helped more than two million people since 1994. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice. For more information about RAINN, please visit http://www.rainn.org.

La Sala de Ayuda (“Helproom”) was created by RAINN under #2014-XV-BX-K005, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this press release are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Katherine Hull Fliflet
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