RAINN's Website Features New Look

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New design lets visitors engage with content and streamlines access to support services

RAINN unveiled a new look for rainn.org, the number one online resource about sexual violence. The website has been redesigned to better serve survivors of sexual violence, their loved ones, and information seekers such as reporters and lawmakers. The new website features a responsive design to ensure a smooth experience on all mobile devices; hundreds of new and updated pages of educational content; and a simplified process to donate or volunteer.

One highlight of the new site is the Policy Action Center, which helps visitors tweet and email members of Congress about key sexual assault legislation. Other new and interactive content includes:

  • Statistics, the most visited section of rainn.org, has 28 new infographics to explain sexual violence against children, college students, women and men, as well as how reporting and prosecution for rape compares to other crimes.
  • The State Law Database now includes detailed information on how each state defines consent, statutes of limitations, and other sexual violence laws.
  • Survivor voices are now prominently featured in Survivor Stories, where visitors can find powerful stories, photographs, and videos from survivors of sexual violence.

“RAINN is a trusted resource for a very diverse audience—parents, survivors, reporters, college students, members of Congress, and many more. Providing accurate, sensitive information about sexual violence is one of RAINN’s key responsibilities,” said Alex Tyson, RAINN’s technology manager, who managed the redesign project.

“RAINN.org serves millions of visitors each year, so it is important to have a well-designed, mobile-friendly site that is packed with helpful information,” said Meaghan Bresnahan, RAINN’s staff writer, who updated and wrote hundreds of articles for the new site. Bresnahan says her favorite piece of new content is What to Expect at a Criminal Trial.

The design and development of the new website was done by nclud, a Washington, D.C. web design firm whose clients include Apple, Tesla Motors, the Grammy's and NASDAQ. "Our entire team couldn't be prouder of our work on the RANN website,” said Kerry Gunter, CEO at nclud. “As corporate partners with RAINN, we encourage everyone to get involved to make a difference in the lives of survivors of sexual violence by volunteering, donating, or simply spreading the word about the cause."

One challenge of the redesign was updating the look and feel of the Online Hotline (online.rainn.org), while retaining the security features that allow thousands of survivors each month to receive confidential, anonymous support. Not only is the demand for the Online Hotline increasing— the hotline is serving 38% more survivors this year versus 2015—there is also a surge in younger visitors, who are more comfortable reaching out for help online. “One in four people who turn to the Online Hotline are under 18. The new design had to be recognizable to this growing group of users, while still upholding security standards,” said Candice Lopez, director of the National Sexual Assault Hotline. The new look includes calm colors and prioritizes safety by removing branding elements from the design.

In conjunction with redesigning the site, RAINN completed a comprehensive content overhaul, updating 100% of published content and adding 50% more articles to respond to the growing demand for information about sexual violence. Feedback from survivors and loved ones drove content creation, and led to new content on such topics as Support for Parents, and articles like How Therapy Can Help. Responding to requests from journalists and lawmakers, the site also includes expanded public policy content, such as a breakdown of key federal laws, and a deep dive into the rape kit backlog. RAINN has also added a Spanish-language portal with important information such as ¿Qué es un kit para casos de violación? (what is a rape kit?) and access to critical services like La Línea de Ayuda (the Online Hotline, available in Spanish) and La Sala de Ayuda (a Spanish-language online help room).

The website includes technological enhancements that meet the growing trend of mobile browsing. “More than half of visitors to rainn.org are coming from mobile devices, so we’ve taken a mobile-first, responsive design approach to make sure all device types have a seamless experience,” said Jeff Senkevich, RAINN’s director of technology. “We’re striving toward meeting federal standards for accessibility.”

“We’ve also made the site highly available to ensure there is no single point of failure,” he continued. RAINN’s site is hosted by Amazon Web Services, and making information available on the cloud gives rainn.org the flexibility to scale up and handle the frequent surges in demand that result from mentions of the website on national television.

To inform the redesign, RAINN conducted research to learn more about the people who matter most—the survivors and website visitors who engage with content on rainn.org and turn to the National Sexual Assault Hotline for support. Award-winning web firm nclud facilitated the research process that included diving into website analytics, focus group research, interviews, and online sorting activities. With these insights, RAINN and nclud were able to design a more intuitive website with the user in mind.

Hear more from RAINN’s director of Technology about the website redesign process.

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, y en español: rainn.org/es.

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 rainn.org.

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