Last Thursday was a bittersweet day for me. It was my last day as part of the Rape Recovery Center.
A little over 8 years ago I was introduced to the Rape Recovery Center. I was the assistant to our Community Relations manager at work and she made it her goal to introduce me to as many of the non-profits in our valley that she could since I would be working with them. I was instantly drawn to the RRC. A few months later I had completed my 40 hour volunteer training. For the next 2 years (off and on) I was a volunteer for the RRC. I took calls on the crisis line, presented Rape 101 to high school classes and was also part of the hospital response team. A difficult case at the hospital caused me to reflect if I was cut out to do this work emotionally. At that time as I was contemplating whether to keep on volunteering or move on, the executive director asked me if I would like to join the board of directors. I jumped at the opportunity. My board term was to be for six years. In this, my sixth year, I was board president.
Over the past 8 years with the RRC my eyes have been opened. I have met so many wonderful people doing this work. Our volunteers give tirelessly of their time, energy and heart. Our staff is incredible and give so selflessly. Sexual violence is sadly still a taboo topic in our society. It's not something we talk about, because if we talk about it then it means that it happens. I wish sexual violence did not happen. I wish that everyone was respectful of each other and personal boundries. However, that's not always the case. Once people know that I am associated with the RRC their walls come down and I hear their story as either a survivor or a secondary survivor (ie, their friend or family member is a survivor of sexual assault). I am constantly amazed at their strength.
According to the 2007 Utah Crime statistics, "one in three women in Utah report that they have been a victim of some form of sexual violence in her lifetime and one in eight women report being raped." It's not much different for men. I guarantee each of us knows some one who is a survivor of sexual violence.
I will miss this advocacy work. It's been such a huge part of my life. However, I am ready to change course and find a new non-profit that I can
If you would like more information on the Rape Recovery Center and the services they provide please visit their website: https://raperecoverycenter.org/