As we pass the half-way point of Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2018, we are inspired by our community and the survivors who we have connected with over these past two weeks.
The Rape Recovery Center (RRC) could not do the work do without our incredible volunteers. In 2017 the 117 individuals who comprise the volunteer force of the center provided 11,938 hours of service, a value of $143,246! One of the fabulous individuals on our volunteer team is Ann Wright, who is an advocate on our 24 hour crisis line. We reached out to Ann to find out more about her experience with the center, and to spotlight her advocacy work with survivors.
The Rape Recovery Center partnered with the Nopalera Artist Collective for our 2018 Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) posters. This incredible group of artists are all about the intersections of art and activism, and we are thrilled to feature their original work this April as part of our SAAM campaign.
Every April the Rape Recovery Center participates in Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), a nationwide effort to raise our collective consciousness around issues of sexual violence. This year, we are excited to offer a wide range of events to engage our community in exciting ways.
Each February the Rape Recovery Center participates in national Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. This is an important opportunity to highlight the work our prevention staff do year-round to engage teens in conversations about healthy relationships, consent, and preventing sexual violence for our future generations.
At the Rape Recovery Center, we are passionate about trauma-informed care. With an unprecedented amount of research and information available to us, we have modeled all of our healing services using the latest knowledge about healing from trauma. Key to our approach to trauma treatment is our therapeutic services. All of our professionally trained therapists are trained in specific methods for treating post-traumatic stress, like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Utah's 45 day legislative session is in full swing and Tuesday February 13th was Sexual Violence Prevention Advocacy Day on the Hill. The Rape Recovery Center's Executive Director, Mara Haight, and Development Director, Morgan Stinson, spent some time with our state legislators advocating for survivor-centered policy and state funding the center needs to serve the increasing number of survivors coming forward to report sexual assaults.
On January 30, 2018 nearly 100 community members gathered at the Glendale Library in Salt Lake City, Utah to discuss sexual violence and the #MeToo movement. This event was hosted by a coalition of community organizations including KAVA Talks, Men's Anti-violence Network, Pacific Island Women’s Empowerment, Racially Just Utah, Rape Recovery Center, Restoring Ancestral Winds, Start by Believing Utah, and the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
Each January, the Rape Recovery Center hosts our first volunteer training of the year. This year, we had a dynamic group of nearly 30 individuals complete this training. Over two weeks these folks spent 40 hours learning about crisis intervention, trauma-informed care, and the resources/systems survivors will interact with throughout their recovery. Now that they are certified Rape Crisis Counselors, we are thrilled to add these compassionate individuals to our volunteer ranks!
2017 was a monumental year for the movement to end sexual violence. With countless individuals coming forward to share their experiences of survivorship and the #MeToo campaign going viral, individuals and institutions all over the world are taking a deeper look at their response to the full spectrum of sexual violence. At the Rape Recovery Center, we have seen the impact of this global conversation on a local level. During the last quarter of 2017, we provided 5,245 services to 498 survivors - an increase of over 40% in both services and survivors served from same quarter in 2016.
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, volunteers from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) of Utah spent nearly 10 hours reorganizing and cleaning the Rape Recovery Center offices. The Rape Recovery Center was thrilled to partner with HRC Utah for this inspiring project. These incredible individuals reflect the spirit of service that Dr. King lived his life by.
Juanita has been a dedicated volunteer of the Rape Recovery Center since 2013, and during her time with the Center she has contributed over 2,000 hours of her time!
She sat down with us to talk about her experiences as a volunteer and tell us a little more about herself.
With the holiday season upon us, many will be celebrating the close of 2017 with family and friends. While this time of year can bring up feelings of joy, love, and connection, it can also be a deeply painful time. For trauma survivors who were harmed by those closest to them, either through intentional violence and abuse or through invalidation and silencing, this time of year can be especially difficult.
It seems that we can't turn on any form of media without being confronted with a full spectrum of stories about sexual violence. Sexual violence can range from sexual harassment in the workplace to sexual assault, and rape. Regardless of the type of violence, it is important to remember that any unwanted sexual encounter is traumatic and there is no right or wrong way to feel about your experience.
For the second year in a row Ashley Love, in partnership with Yellow Rose Tattoo, hosted the "Still Not Asking For It" flash event. Last year this incredible group of artists raised just over $17,000 for the Rape Recovery Center - providing nearly 70 survivors with an advocate to support them during the 4-6 hour process of rape kit collection.
It’s 3:00 am on a Sunday morning when the call comes in.
Half an hour later the advocate enters the hospital room, met by a tired, overwhelmed woman who just experienced one of the deepest betrayals of her life.
“[The Advocate] let me know I was in control of my situation. They gave me a voice because I felt lost.”
As the number of survivors speaking out continues to grow, so does the need for comprehensive, trauma-informed healing services.
The start of a new school year is an exciting time for all students, especially for those starting college or university. For many first year students this will be a time of academic and social exploration, as well as a time for new opportunities and risks. This is an anxious time for parents, many of whom are entrusting their children to be away from home for the first time. As the conversation around sexual assault grows, it may cause anxiety as we start to learn the shocking statistics around campus sexual assault.
El comienzo de un nuevo año escolar es un momento emocionante para todos los estudiantes, especialmente para aquellos que comienzan la universidad o el colegio. Para muchos estudiantes de primer año este será un tiempo de exploración académica y social, así como un tiempo para nuevas oportunidades y riesgos. Este es un momento ansioso para los padres, muchos de los cuales están confiando a sus hijos a estar fuera de casa por primera vez. A medida que la conversación alrededor del asalto sexual crece, puede causar ansiedad especialmente que comenzamos a aprender las estadísticas impactantes sobre el asalto sexual en la universidad.
On the evening of Sunday October 15, 2017, a social media campaign went viral: #MeToo.
Within the next 24 hours, The Rape Recovery Center was contacted by numerous local news outlets to speak to this campaign and the epidemic of sexual assault in our nation.