The Online National Street Harassment Hotline is a free, confidential, secure service that provides live help through the Stop Street Harassment website.
If you are in immediate danger of seriously harming yourself or being harmed by someone else, we recommend calling 911 or going to the nearest emergency room. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can help at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Who should use the Online National Street Harassment Hotline?
Anyone who has experienced gender-based harassment in public spaces in the United States, or is concerned about someone who has experienced or is experiencing it.
- Gender-based harassment includes catcalls, sexually explicit comments, sexist remarks, demeaning names or comments, homophobic or transphobic slurs, threats, groping, leering, stalking, flashing, public masturbation, upskirt photos, and sexual assault.
- Public spaces include streets, sidewalks, parks, buses, subways, trains, bus stops, subway platforms, stores, restaurants, movie theaters, bars, clubs, libraries, pools, beaches, and more.
What services does the Online National Street Harassment Hotline provide?
- Crisis intervention and support.
- Answers to your questions about what street harassment is.
- Possible strategies for dealing with street harassment.
- Possible strategies for how to intervene when you witness street harassment.
- Information about possible legal action you can take in your state, as applies to street harassment, and the methods for reporting it to law enforcement.
- Information about ways you can take community action to address street harassment.
- Referrals to resources in your area and nationally.
- Information for family and friends of the person who may be facing street harassment.
How does it work?
It works just like instant messaging. You'll go into a private session with a trained staff member and communicate, live, by typing messages back and forth. The service is completely anonymous, and you do not have to give your name or any personal information.
Who provides the help?
Online Hotline services are provided through collaboration between RAINN, Stop Street Harassment (SSH) and Defend Yourself (DY). All trained RAINN support specialists have successfully completed comprehensive sexual assault crisis response training as well as additional training developed by by SSH and DY about street harassment. All staff receives ongoing supervision from RAINN. The supervisors monitor all sessions for quality control.
Does the Online Hotline provide ongoing help?
The Online Hotline provides immediate crisis help, information about strategies for dealing with harassment, and information about the issue. If you need ongoing help, the staff member will work to help you find and connect with local resources, which may provide individual and group support sessions and other services.
Also, you can always reach a local sexual violence help center directly by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE.
Which web browsers will work with the Online Hotline?
One of the browsers below is needed to use the Online Hotline messaging service:
We are working continuously to provide support for more browsers.
SSH and DY have partnered with RAINN to advance our missions to help make public places safer for everyone. As a part of this partnership, RAINN provides for SSH and DY an online hotline, which is reached through here (the "Online Hotline").
IF YOU ARE IN DANGER, CONSIDERING SUICIDE, OR NEED EMERGENCY HELP, CALL 911 NOW.
Terms of Service
SSH, DY and RAINN have designed this Online Hotline with your privacy and safety as the top priority. Before logging in to the Online Hotline, please read each of the following policies carefully, understanding that some may apply to you more than others.
Please read our User Safety Procedures. Your safety is very important, so please read this information now, before you use this service. If you are using a shared computer, or have any concerns about someone monitoring your computer, there are things that you can do on your own computer in order to enhance your privacy and to stay safe. These safety procedures are useful for anyone who uses computers, and some are necessary for anyone to safely use the internet.
- If you think your computer is not safe and private, find a safer computer.
- We have taken many measures to keep your communications safe while using our site. However, please note that no Internet transmissions are 100% secure.
- If you would prefer to talk to someone by phone, call 1.800.656.HOPE (4673)
2. Privacy and Confidentiality
We do not ask for any information that can be used to identify you.
- Support sessions are not recorded or stored anywhere on the server.
- If you indicate an immediate danger of committing suicide, if you are under 13, or otherwise as required by law, we may have to share the information that you have given us with the appropriate authorities.
- Although we have taken precautions to protect your confidentiality, it is possible that a court will not keep it 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 phone hotline instead, at 1.800.656.HOPE (4673) as the same confidentiality issues do not apply the way they do for the Online Hotline.
3. User Agreement
Please read our User Agreement here.
When you use the Online Hotline, you agree that RAINN, RAINN's affiliates, SSH, and DY will not be liable for any damages or injuries resulting from the use, or inability to use, the Online Hotline and its contents.
When you check the boxes below, it means that you understand and agree to the terms of these agreements and policies. If you do not agree, you may not use the Online Hotline.