Boston rape survivor climbing for strength, walking for change
After facing off against a 22,000-foot mountain earlier this year, it’s safe to say Devon Dopfel’s next trek of triumph will be an easy one.
The Jamaica Plain fitness instructor will join hundreds on Sunday at The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center‘s annual Walk for Change, a benefit to help fund the center’s free services.
Dopfel, a date rape survivor, will be given the BARCC Beacon Award for climbing Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina, the largest mountain in all of the Americas, to raise $2,500 for BARCC.
“It’s my first time walking (for BARCC), but I think the idea of getting a large group of people together for change makes a big statement,” said Dopfel, who started counseling at the center after the sexual assault.
Dopfel said she decided to start climbing mountains to help with her healing process.
“It’s incredibly powerful the moment you get to the top of a mountain. It helps put things in perspective,” she said.
Since becoming a mountaineer she’s climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, and plans to conquer Mt. Everest. BARCC’s Executive Director Gina Scaramella said Dopfel’s bravery sealed her place as this year’s Beacon Award recipient.
“Devon’s courage in speaking about her experience and her tremendous feat of climbing Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina for BARCC is truly inspiring and spreads a message of hope and healing to our community.”