Supporting survivors of sexual violence with an around the clock, one-stop service.
As Hong Kong’s first crisis centre for survivors of sexual violence, RainLily is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to advocating for the rights and adequate government support of these survivors. RainLily is the service unit of the Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women (ACSVAW), which also runs Anti-480, an education programme promoting gender equality.
RainLily’s mission is to call to attention the issues and stigma surrounding sexual violence and provide a safe haven for survivors to help them restore confidence and dignity. We spoke to Vince Chan, RainLily’s officer of communication and resource development, to learn more about RainLily and its mission.
Tell us about RainLily.
RainLily provides a support network of women who have either been through similar situations of sexual violence or wish to help you get through a traumatic experience. As a one-stop service centre, RainLily provides comprehensive legal and medical advice to relieve survivors of any extra burdens they are subjected to carry. The Legal Clinic under the service provides consultation for victim-survivors of all genders.
RainLily offers a 24-hour support call service, immediate and post medical support, counselling services, group therapy sessions, companion services, professional training and a legal clinic. The organisation recognises that the last thing any survivor wants to do is relay their experience to multiple strangers over and over again, so with a one-stop service, they aim to limit that burden.
Other services RainLily provides include pregnancy prevention, screening and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, forensic medical examination, psychological support and reporting to the police. RainLily’s main goal is to support victims through their journey of healing, using an around the clock, one-stop service.
Why should we care?
In 2019, RainLily launched a major report, “The Living Evidence of Sexual Violence Against Women in Hong Kong: A Retrospective Study of RainLily’s Crisis Services (2000-2018)”. The research studied and analysed 3,611 cases in the past 18 years that RainLily provided in-depth counselling and follow-up services.
The data revealed that over 10% of the survivors took 10 years or above to come forward for assistance – with the longest delay being 58 years. This delay might significantly obstruct a survivor’s ability to gain timely access to appropriate assistance.
The study also reiterated the vulnerable situation children and female teenagers face under gender-based violence. We found that over 20% of cases involved a victim-survivor that was under the age of 16 at the time of the assault, with the youngest survivor being only one year old.
As such, it is crucial for us to encourage victim-survivors to speak up and seek help. And also to stop the problem at its core by educating those around us and ending the stigma surrounding sexual violence.
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How can we help?
There are many ways to help RainLily and women who have experienced sexual violence. To support RainLily’s services, please consider making a donation or becoming a monthly donor. This will go towards funding their multiple services and programmes to help survivors on their journey towards healing.
Another way to make a difference is to be an active bystander when you witness a situation that might potentially involve sexual violence. Attempt to intervene in a way that fits the situation and your comfort level, create a distraction, stand by the victim, enlist another bystander or authority figure to help. Your intervention could help stop sexual violence in its tracks, or encourage the victim to voice out.
Stand up against inappropriate comments and behaviours and help debunk myths and misconceptions on sexual violence in everyday conversations. Just as importantly, make consent your key value in carrying out daily interactions, whether it’s online or offline.