But if the large crowd at the pARTy for Rape Recovery on April 29 was a sign, the RRC at least has the community's support. All proceeds in a silent and live auctions held at the Emma Eccles Conservatory at Westminster College, went to the organization.
"We have a few sponsors underwriting it, so every cent goes to our services, hospital response, call center and therapy," says Heather Stringfellow, executive director of the center.
The silent auction ran for two hours with some pretty awesome items for bid: a semester at the Visual Arts Institute, Real Salt Lake star Will Johnson's jersey along with four front row seats and 2010 highlights and so much more. Bigger ticket items were saved for the live auction with auctioneers Troy D'Ambrosio and Frank Pignanelli.
Anyone short on cash could enter the $10 raffle with big prizes, including food from eight of Utah's top restaurants, Southwest airline tickets and a Murdock Travel Cruise or a week stay at Snowbird.
The super-delicious food was from Sodexo at Westminster College.
Of course, pARTy was spelled the way it was for a reason. More than 40 local artists donated their work for the auction.
The art with the strongest impact wasn't for sale though.
Every year, during sexual assault awareness month (April), the RRC holds an art night for survivors and allies to create art to express their emotions on sexual violence. This year, 28 pieces were at the fundraiser. The art covered a wall at the conservatory, titled Expressions of Healing.
"They reminded people why they were there," says therapist Robin Friedman. "And the feedback has been powerful. People have found hope and healing in this art."
Last year's Expressions of Healing art is hanging at the City & County Building.
In addition to the art nights, the RRC also held recent programs on sexual violence toward men. About 1/4 of women are affected by sexual violence, and 1/6 of men are as well but are a lot less likely to come forward about it.
Therapist Jim Struve has run a male survivor's group for three years. "Lately, there's been an increase in men seeking help," says Struve, who's also a part of Male Survivor, a national organization. Find out more at malesurvivor.org.
Theresa Ashman has been volunteering for 3 1/2 years and started with the Rape Recovery Center last summer. She was honored as this year's Volunteer of the Year. She helps in many aspects, including the crisis line and hospital visits.
"The first time I knocked on someone's hospital door, I didn't know what to expect," she says. "Now, I just really like to help somebody during a bad part in her life." That first hospital ended with her singing Journey songs with the client, something she'll remember the rest of her life.
"We'll assist anyone who's experienced any sexual violence any time in their life," says clinical director Diana Thomas. "We see men, women, all walks of life."