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Volunteer Spotlight: Ally Warner

The Rape Recovery Center (RRC) could not do the work we do without our incredible volunteers. In 2017 the 117 individuals on our volunteer force provided 11,938 hours of service, a value of $143,246! One of the fabulous individuals on our volunteer team is Ally Warner. Learn more about Ally and her work at the center below!

What motivated you to become a volunteer at the Rape Recovery Center?

The motivation to volunteer for RRC came out of nowhere for me. It felt like all of the sudden I was seeing the impact of sexual assault on college campuses, to young women, and to my friends and family. This issue of sexual assault quickly became important to me, and I knew I wanted to be able to help survivors in whatever way I could and better advocate for them.

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What have you enjoyed most about your time as a RRC volunteer?

The people I have had the opportunity to meet and work with at RRC, and the survivors that I have connected with on the crisis line. There is so much support that comes from RRC, and so many wonderful people there who only want to help others and make sure that you’re the most successful volunteer that you can be. The survivors have taught me so much about myself and caring for others. They are resilient, understanding, and patient. I only hope that I help them as much as they’ve helped me. 

What is most challenging about your volunteer work at the RRC?

The calls where I feel like I haven’t done enough. There are calls where I’m not sure what referral to give, or I’m unsure of what the survivor’s needs are. I feel as though I am not enough, and that I should have done more during that call. When I’m feeling this way I reach out to others from my training or the manager on call for support, and I am reminded how hard this work can be and that I am enough.

Tell us a little more about how you spend your time outside of volunteering for the RRC - hobbies, passions, work, school? 

I work full time as a software developer at the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute at the University of Utah! Outside of work I love to be outside hiking, rock climbing, skiing, backpacking, road biking, scuba diving, and the list goes on! Being outside as much as I can be is the goal! When I can’t go outside, you can find me at the climbing gym, biking on my trainer, crocheting, cross stitching, reading something epic, cooking, or hanging out with my cat Richard. I also love to travel and try to do it as much as I can!

You have immersed yourself in the very difficult work of addressing sexual violence. What gives you hope as you approach this work? What is your message to others looking to get involved in this work, or considering volunteer work at the RRC?

I find hope in several avenues of this work. Since I’ve been a volunteer at RRC, I find myself in more conversations about sexual assault than ever before. Being able to answer questions and help educate people about sexual assault, consent, rape culture, and other issues gives me hope especially when I receive a positive response. It gives me hope that more people will change their words, actions, and opinions towards sexual assault, and we can move forward together as a society. Another place I find hope is when a survivor tells me that they are doing better, and that they were so glad I was there on the line for them. Even though this work can be difficult, knowing that I can be there and make any process for the survivor easier is enough for me to keep going.

What is your message to others looking to get involved in this work, or considering volunteer work at the RRC? 

Thank you for considering getting involved! There are many different ways that you can help, and all of them are equally significant. Remember that self care is so important and to trust yourself and your emotional limits. Even though this work may be hard at times, you can do it. You are enough!

On behalf of all of us at the Rape Recovery Center we thank Ally for dedicating her time and talents to the center, and for her commitment to survivors! 

If you are interested in joining the Rape Recovery Center's volunteer team, visit our volunteer page here to learn more.