Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network

“Hi, I’m Tori Amos, and in my debut solo album Little Earthquakes there’s a song that’s pretty special to me called Me and a Gun. It’s about a violent attack that happened several years ago to me. Atlantic Records has helped me set up a nationwide 24-hour toll-free hotline for survivors of sexual assault. If you need advice, information, or support call 1-800-656-HOPE. That’s 1-800-656 HOPE, because there is hope.” [Public Service Announcement, 1994]

“Hi, I’m Tori Amos, and I’d like to talk to you about healing from the crime of rape. It’s taken me years to take the steps to deal with my anger and this incredible empty void which had taken me over. I wrote the song Me and a Gun as a first step in acknowledging what had happened. Since then I’ve had help from wise people who have given me emotional tools to climb out of this darkness. So with the help of Atlantic Records, we’re launching the first nationwide 24-hour sexual assault hotline and toll free number. You’ll be confidentially connected to the Rape Crisis Center nearest you. And remember, the hotline is open 24 hours a day. The number is 1-800-656-HOPE. That’s 1-800-656-HOPE, because there is hope.” [Public Service Announcement, 1994]

Go to the official RAINN website.

“We’re trying to get the phone number now [this was in June 1994]. There’s a lot involved. The D.C. Crisis Center is putting the help side together - and Atlantic is putting the business side together” [Boston Globe - June 10, 1994]

“I got so many letters, not just from women, saying if they could have just had somebody to talk to... and not just somebody who talks on the phone and goes, ‘Oh God, I know what you mean. I’m so sorry this happened to you.’ But someone who can give you steps toward healing, not just commiserating. And that’s what this number will do. Wherever you are in the country, you can call the 800 number and be put directly in contact with (a professional) who lives close to you. I had to do something, because you wouldn’t believe how many letters come in. It would blow your mind how many.” [Boston Globe - June 10, 1994]

“I was getting so many letters from young women... Do you know how many underage girls are dealing with rape? And the government has cut its funding for the rape crisis centers in a big way. The [National] Rifle Association, the gun dudes, are supported and powerful. And hey, I can understand a weapon or two. However, nobody says, ‘Since we’re going to support weapons, we’ve also got to figure that there are going to be a few incidents because of us standing up for rifles.’ There’s a part of me that wants to go have a little chat with those guys and just say, ‘Nobody’s saying that all men are rapists. But you have to accept the fact that most rapes are [committed] by men.’ So is there a responsibility?” [George - April/May 1996]

“This girl showed up backstage... She just stood there and said, ‘Last night my stepfather raped me. He’s been raping me every night for seven years.’ I said, ‘Get her on the bus!’ When we were crossing the state line that night, [the tour manager] said, ‘The FBI’s going to be on your ass so fast.’ And I’m like, wait a minute, what is right and wrong here? Where has the law failed? That this girl’s only hope is an artist....” [George - April/May 1996]

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