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Voices of SAAM 2018

 Teresa Stafford, Senior Director of Victim Services and Outreach at Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, and Mara Haight, Executive Director of the Rape Recovery Center at the Utah Sexual Violence Conference. 

Teresa Stafford, Senior Director of Victim Services and Outreach at Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, and Mara Haight, Executive Director of the Rape Recovery Center at the Utah Sexual Violence Conference. 

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. 

Our SAAM 2018 experience kicked off with a Facebook Live event, where we took our followers on a tour of the Rape Recovery Center. We took some stops along the way to talk about our exciting SAAM events. For those who missed it, check out the video here

 Phoebe Galvez, Rape Recovery Center staff therapist and organizer of "Speak, Swing, Sway: Zumba with inSpire Up" poses with all who attended for an evening of body love and movement. 

Phoebe Galvez, Rape Recovery Center staff therapist and organizer of "Speak, Swing, Sway: Zumba with inSpire Up" poses with all who attended for an evening of body love and movement. 

Our next stop was the Utah Sexual Violence Conference April 4-6th. Several of our staff attended this annual conference, learning from many incredible speakers in the field of sexual violence treatment and prevention. When asked about her experience at the conference, Executive Director Mara Haight said "It was inspiring to hear from national leaders like Tony Porter who shared his perspective on the importance of men's engagement in this movement to end sexual violence. Connecting with advocates and service providers from across the United States helped me expand my understanding of what survivors need to feel supported in their recovery. I appreciated hearing from Teresa Stafford from the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center about the unique needs and barriers that survivors of color face. I also enjoyed learning from Mira Yusef and Valerie Davis about their work with the Resource Sharing Project, which is working to ensure survivors have meaningful access to services throughout our communities. Finally, it was an honor to share space with and learn from individuals who are making a change here locally, folks like Emily Bagley who presented a workshop on art-based healing initiatives." 

We've celebrated the theme of SAAM 2018, "Embrace Your Voice" in many ways - marching in solidarity with other local activists and advocates at "Take Back the Night" on April 5th, bar hopping with our supporters at "Let's Get Consensual" on April 7th, shakin' it with our community at "Speak, Swing, and Sway: Zumba with inSpire Up" on April 11th,  and getting creative with the Downtown Artists Collective at our "Coppice" art exhibition on April 13th and "Embrace Your Voice: Part 1" art workshop on April 14th. 

 Heather Olsen, 1st place winner of "Coppice: An Art Exhibition," is pictured with her winning painting titled "Looking Forward to the Future." 

Heather Olsen, 1st place winner of "Coppice: An Art Exhibition," is pictured with her winning painting titled "Looking Forward to the Future." 

With 2 weeks left of SAAM 2018, don't miss the opportunity to connect with us. You can join us on April 28th for part 2 of our "Embrace Your Voice" community art workshop. We will be co-creating large art pieces that will be shared throughout the year on the walls of the Rape Recovery Center, and on display at our Hope and Healing Gala on June 8th.  We hope to see you there!