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RAINN Indiegogo Campaign Works to Raise Money for Victims of Sexual Violence

And All Was Right With the World

Last week we reported on the offensive dating guide Kickstarter Above the Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome with Women, and how it encouraged sexual violence in it’s advice on how to interact with women.  Since then, Kickstarter has apologized, banned relationship guide campaigns from using their service, taken the Above the Game campaign off their website, and donated $25,000 to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN).  While Kickstarter initially took some time to come to the decision to remedy the problem, and ultimately missed the window to cancel the project, their apology, which you can see here, was quite fitting and, most importantly, drew attention to a way to combat the actions the guide promotes.  Now RAINN, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States, has started an Indiegogo campaign, Turn Outrage into Action by Fighting Sexual Violence , to directly combat the Above the Game campaign.

This new effort to help the victims of sexual abuse has a goal of $15,000, which will go to three simple goals. (via Indiegogo)

  • Let’s show the world that there are more people who support survivors of sexual violence than there are people who advocate for violence.
  • Let’s invest in programs and initiatives that change the way Americans think about sexual violence.
  • Let’s ensure that survivors get the help they deserve through the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

More specifically, the campaign is aimed towards continuing the great work that RAINN has already done, operating the National Sexual Assault Hotline along with rape crises centers country-wide, operating an online hotline to help the victims of sexual violence, holding RAINN Day on college campuses to raise awareness among college students, and even working with television shows like Glee and Private Practice to ensure that sexual violence is depicted in the media we consume in a responsible manner that raises awareness.  Each donation tier of the campaign goes to funding a different one of these goals, with the highest tier aimed towards encouraging law enforcement to use rape evidence kits in their labs.

While Kickstarter’s policy prohibits raising money for causes, Indiegogo‘s does not, which likely has something to do with RAINN’s use of Indiegogo to fund their campaign.  However, the stated goal of the fundraiser makes it clear that the platform on which it is hosted is a secondary concern.  The Turn Outrage into Action by Fighting Sexual Violence campaign very clearly states that its goal is to raise money in response to the Above the Game Kickstarter, with direct quotes from and links to the Kickstarter for the dating guide.

Glorying sexual violence and giving advice on how to commit a sexual assault have no place in our society, online or off.  Over the past month, 732 people have made contributions to fund a “how-to” manual endorsing sexual assault, providing instructions like these:

“Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances.”

“Pull out your coc* and put her hand on it. Remember, she is letting you do this because you have established yourself as a LEADER. Don’t ask for permission, GRAB HER HAND, and put it right on your dic*.”

Beyond raising money, the RAINN campaign serves as a parallel to the Above the Game Kickstarter. It shows that for those 732 people who endorsed Above the Game, there should be more who want to prevent material that, whether the author recognizes it or not, promotes sexual violence.

The question that remains, however, is how Kickstarter can adjust their policy to be more specific about the content that their website allows.  They may have banned dating and seduction guides, which is certainly a fine start, but their policy on what constitues “offensive material” is still quite vague.  The fact that Kickstarter was unable to prevent the campaign from completion once it had been funded, while consistant with their policies, highlights how checking the content of the book more thoroughly, and the content that Above the Game author Ken Hoinsky made available on Reddit through the campaign page, could have prevented the controversy.  At least, with the help of RAINN, everyone following the story and Kickstarter can achieve something good from the debacle.

(via Indiegogo)

Previously in Indiegogo and Kickstarter

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