The Rape Recovery Center volunteer team consists of nearly 150 incredible individuals who give their time, talents, and passion to furthering our mission of serving survivors and educating the community about sexual violence. This month, we are so pleased to spotlight our wonderful Development volunteer, Brennan Jones!
Brennan has shared with the RRC his many talents in various capacities. Beginning his journey at the Rape Recovery Center as an intern, Brennan continues to support the center through volunteering with our flower donation delivery and being on the planning committee for this year’s Hope & Healing Gala. Always available to lend a ear and being a friend to someone in need, please read below to learn more about this incredible volunteer!
What motivated you to become a volunteer at the Rape Recovery Center?
I actually started out as an undergraduate intern through the Gender Studies department at the U of U. Back then I wanted to be a therapist, so naturally I thought I’d dive head-first into the gnarliest trauma recovery I could find! Needless to say, after a while on the crisis line and doing some client intakes, it became clear that my talents are more suited to flower deliveries and event planning—my current work at the center.
What have you enjoyed most about your time as an RRC volunteer?
Truly, the staff and volunteers at the Center are some of the kindest, sweetest, wisest, hardest working souls in the world. Their balance of sensitivity, personality, and professionalism is a potent salve for the soul that you would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. And besides, most of them are genuinely cool people!
What is most challenging about your volunteer work at the RRC?
Serving on the gala planning committee this past year, I was blessed to learn a whole slew of skills I had never encountered before professionally. Chiefly, I had many opportunities to hold delicate conversations with members of the community outside of the Center. While sexual assault is something that affects most of us in one way or another, it can be challenging to break that shell of silence in "polite" company.
Tell us a little more about how you spend your time outside of volunteering for the RRC - hobbies, passions, work, school?
When I'm not volunteering, I'm usually out hiking with my dog Honey, getting dirty in the garden, homemaking, catching up on my programs, or planning my next Dungeons and Dragons campaign! I graduated some years ago from the University of Utah with BS in Sociology and Gender Studies, so naturally I wait tables downtown at the Copper Onion for money.
You have immersed yourself in the very difficult work of addressing sexual violence. What gives you hope as you approach this work?
Honestly, knowing that the work I do can end some *small* portion of somebody's suffering as they endure and recover from sexual assault is what continues to motivate me. Besides, I feel like it's important for me to be involved in this work as a male-bodied human to help undo the trauma that is overwhelmingly caused by men--even if the only real difference is symbolic.
What is your message to others looking to get involved in this work, or considering volunteer work at the RRC?
Do it, do it, do it! Aside from all of the amazing people (and in some cases, lifelong friends) you'll meet and work with, the personal growth you’ll experience is life-changing. Each person that learns and serves at the center becomes a tendril of hope and healing in their own communities, opening up important conversations and challenging rape culture at ground level.