This month, we sat down with our longtime monthly donors, Tara & Kellen schroeter to chat about their support of the RRC as a Partner in Healing and discuss the movement to address sexual violence. We are excited to share our conversation below, and take the opportunity to thank Tara & Kellen for their fierce support of the Rape Recovery Center! ❤
Morgan Stinson, RRC Director of Development: Hi Tara, thank so much for chatting with me today. To start, would you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Tara Streng Schroeter: Hey! Thanks so much for reaching out to me! I am a University of Utah alum (BA '15) currently working on my PhD in Sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder. Prior to enrolling at CU I was fortunate to work as a Volunteer Coordinator at a rape crisis program in metro Cincinnati Ohio, and oversaw our hospital response volunteer team. Currently I study sexual assault, relevant university policy responses, how SA is measured at the population level, and reproductive health at a population level. I am passionate about social justice, and adventuring in the mountains with my husband Kellen.
MS: You've been a dedicated supporter of the RRC and our mission for many years, could you tell us what motivates you support the Rape Recovery Center?
TSS: I was fortunate to interact with the RRC and speak at a few events in conjunction with the RRC during my time at the U, and have been long impressed by y'alls organization. Rape crisis programs, and particularly ones which are able to also provide counseling are a vital part of healthy communities. Unfortunately SA is a common occurrence within our society, while how common SA is can feel really discouraging at times, it is an important reminder for me how essential it is to try and intercede and find ways to try and end SA, and work with survivors.
MS: What does creating a culture of consent look like to you?
TSS: To me creating a culture of consent means starting to have conversations regarding consent at young ages! It means that we discuss with children of all genders how to be respectful of one another, the value of listening to our friends when they say "no", or show hesitation. These discussions can and should start about simple friendships, and can easily continue throughout the life course to include discussions of how to respect the comfortability and consent of those we engage in dating and sexual relationships later. Creating and changing culture is difficult, and can mean having some uncomfortable conversations with friends and dating partners, but is so important to creating a healthy society.
MS: What message would you share with anyone considering becoming a monthly donor to support the RRC?
TSS: We chose to become monthly donors a while ago, and it has been a choice that we have never reconsidered. The RRC is a non-profit organization and is able to do the important work it does serving survivors and engaging with the community because of individual donations. It can be pretty intimidating signing up to give monthly if that something you haven't done before, but even a small monthly donation can have a great impact.
MS: What do you think the next step is to addressing sexual violence as a community?
TSS: I think our next steps as a community includes continuing to have conversations regarding consent, healthy dating relationships, and regarding the fact that sexual violence is NEVER a survivors fault. It is important for us as a community to lean in and support the survivors in our lives. Sometimes that means being a listening ear, or making a donation to an organization which supports survivors, or talking with workplaces, the legislature, or organizations about how policies directly impact survivors.