Interview: Morgan Stinson
I want to take advantage of this blog, and give readers a further understanding of what it means to support recovery centers & organizations of the like. Here at Yellow Rose Tattoo, in Salt Lake City, we work with the Rape Recovery Center of Utah, often. Morgan Stinson is the Development Director at RRC and was kind enough to lend me some time and answers to my questions.
(A) Hi Morgan!
First, thank you so much for lending your time to my questions. I am excited to share information with some curious minds.
(M) Thank you, Ashley! I’m excited to get to talk to you.
(A) I’m wondering if you can shed some light on what an experience (as a survivor) with the Rape Recovery Center might look like. For someone who has never approached a Recovery Center, it may be difficult to imagine what you offer and what is available to survivors/loved ones of survivors.
(M) Our goal at the Rape Recovery Center is to support survivors through every stage of their healing journey, so we offer quite a broad scope of services in order to meet the many individual needs survivors may have. We operate a 24-hour crisis line that anyone can call 24/7 to talk to a trained Advocate for immediate information, resources and support. That number is 801-467-7273.
We also have a team of Hospital Response Advocates that work on-call 24/7 responding anytime a survivor in Salt Lake County chooses to report an assault. These Advocates are there to offer personal support through the entire 4-8 hour process, which can be a very emotionally and physically overwhelming time. These Advocates provide everything from a change of clothes, blanket, and resources for the survivor and family. They are there to really make sure the survivor feels believed, supported and in control the entire time.
We offer weekly individual counseling and therapy for survivors and secondary survivors (a secondary survivor is anyone who is supporting a survivor, like a family member or partner) of any gender, over 14 years old. All services are provided on a donation only basis, and many folks access our services at no cost. Our Therapist and Counselors also host weekly support groups that vary in topic, like an Art Therapy group, a processing group for Male survivors, a group focused on mindfulness, a group facilitated in Spanish, yoga groups, to name a few.
A lot of people don’t know we also engage thousands of community members each year through our education and prevention efforts. We have a team of incredible Educators that develop tailored curricula and travel across the Salt Lake Valley to teach about consent, healthy relationships and how we can prevent sexual violence altogether.
(A) Could you let me know some examples of what donations may go toward, at the Rape Recovery Center of Utah?
(M) Great question! As a non-profit, we rely on donations from the community to keep our doors open and fund every component of our operation. Donations are the reason we are able to provide our services at no cost to survivors! Gifts of any size make a big impact in our ability to keep up with continually growing demand, but to give you a few ideas, a gift of $50 will pay for an individual Skills Counseling appointment, and a gift of $75 dollars would cover the cost of a Therapy session with one of our licensed clinicians. $250 covers all of the expenses for one of our Hospital Response Advocates to be dispatched to accompany a survivor throughout the duration of their Rape Kit. Donations also provide much needed supplies for our Prevention and Education Team, as they interact with youth, families, and the community every day.
(A) What are the different roles that trained volunteers play at RRC?
(M) Our volunteers play a big role at the Center. They support our client services by operating the 24-hour crisis line, assisting with in-office client support, and by becoming volunteer members of our Hospital Response Team. Volunteers also support our Outreach efforts by tabling at community events and assisting with Rape Recovery Center events. We have volunteer projects that range from making journals for our clients to putting together the resource packets we bring to survivors in the hospital, and we love connecting with new volunteers who want to bring their skills to our work. You can check out our website for details on how to become a volunteer with us!
(A) Here’s one last question, out of my personal curiosity! How does this field of work affect you? Also, how do you go about maintaining self-care when you feel overwhelmed by the energy & emotions that this work requires.
(M) This work can definitely become overwhelming, especially during this time when we are seeing more survivors than ever come forward and access our services, which means keeping up with constantly growing demand. It is equally inspiring though, because we are getting the chance to serve more individuals than ever. When things get hard, thinking about the incredible displays of strength and resilience I see in survivors at the Center helps ground me. One therapist here always reminds us, “self-care is not an option, it is a necessity,” which I think is a tip everyone can take from. I set aside regular time to get away and take care of myself, because it really is a necessity for us all.
(A) Thank you so much, again!!
(M) Thank you for being such a fierce advocate for this work!!
Rape Recovery Center, Utah
24-Hour Crisis Line: (801)467-7273