News

Back Alley Productions and Seacoast Repertory Theatre to Showcase V-Day Portsmouth 2014: The Vagina Monologues to Benefit SASS February 7th-9th

January 14, 2014, Portsmouth, NH: For the third consecutive year, Back Alley Productions in partnership with The Seacoast Repertory Theatre, will bring the courageous and thought-provoking performances of V-Day Portsmouth: The Vagina Monologues, alive from February 7th through the 9th to benefit Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS).

Raising an impressive $18,000 in previous years for SASS and A Safe Place, this year Back Alley Productions Director, Joi Smith, fearlessly sets out to top these efforts with hopes of raising $20,000 towards both agencies as well as 10% globally going to V-Day.  

For an organization like SASS that annually serves over 1200 survivors of sexual assault and over 10,000 school-aged children through its’ Safe Kids Strong Teens violence prevention education programs; the funds raised will impact survivors and the agencies’ programs considerably.

SASS Executive Director, Kathy Beebe explains, “SASS is so appreciative that Back Alley Productions has again chosen SASS as a beneficiary of the Vagina Monologue performances at the Seacoast Rep!  This wonderful partnership raises both awareness and much-needed financial support to insure that anyone impacted by sexual violence in the greater Seacoast area will have 24 hour access to the support they may need and deserve through SASS and will assist us in reaching thousands of children and adults with our important prevention efforts.”

V-Day, The Vagina Monologues (www.vday.org), created by playwright and founder Eve Ensler, is a global activist movement. Performed creatively for the last 16 years on stages across the world including 167 countries, it continues to raise awareness and thousands of dollars for organizations working towards eliminating violence against women and children.

Back Alley’s V-Day Portsmouth 2014: The Vagina Monologues includes a cast of 25 female and male performers, delving into the human experiences shared by women of all ages from love, pain, wisdom and empowerment.

Live musicians, treats, a cash bar, raffle items, local artisans and a special performance by the Neoteric Dance Collaborative will also be featured.

V-Day Portsmouth 2014: The Vagina Monologues at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre will take place February 7th at 8 p.m., February 8th at 8 p.m. and February 9th at 2 p.m. Tickets can be found online at www.seacoastrep.org or the Box Office at (603) 433-4472. The Seacoast Rep is located at 125 Bow Street in Portsmouth, NH.

Performances will also return with V-Day Rochester 2014: The Vagina Monologues at the Rochester Opera House on February 20th and 21st with proceeds to benefit A Safe Place (www.asafeplacenh.org). Tickets can be purchased online at www.rochesteroperahouse.com or the Box Office at (603) 335-1992. The Rochester Opera House is located at City Hall, 31 Wakefield Street, Rochester, NH.

For more information about Back Alley Productions please visit backalleyproductionsnh.com.

Training Available for New Outreach Volunteers with SASS in January 2014

December 27, 2013, Portsmouth, NH- Non-profit agency, Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS), invites committed and passionate volunteers to register for outreach training, taking place Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 in Dover, NH.

SASS outreach training builds upon volunteers’ skills, creating knowledgeable outreach volunteers who are committed to raising awareness about sexual assault prevention and the support services available for survivors. Outreach volunteers are important to the agency, as their work in Rockingham and Strafford counties helps to create informed, safe and healthy communities.

After completing training, outreach volunteers will join the “Society for SASS” Outreach Committee; a group of people ages 18 and up. The committee’s main goal is to develop and support ways to increase awareness through special events and partnerships with local communities.

Volunteering on the Outreach Committee is flexible. Members are asked to attend a once a month meeting and to participate in outreach activities. Committee members will receive on-going support from SASS staff and will gain insight into a non-profit agency. Members will also gain experience planning and executing a variety of events throughout the year.

If interested in joining SASS’s volunteer efforts, go online to download and complete a volunteer questionnaire at www.sassnh.org. Please return your questionnaire to Community Outreach Coordinator, Christiana Amesquita at christiana@sassnh.org or by U.S. mail to 7 Junkins Ave., Portsmouth, NH, 03801 by Thursday, January 16th, 2014. Volunteers will then be contacted with further information.

 

SASS to Hold 8-Week Support Group for Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Assault in January 2014

December 11, 2013, Portsmouth, NH- Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) will hold an 8-week support group for adult survivors of childhood sexual assault beginning January 15th, 2014 in Dover, NH.

During this 8-week period, participants will meet Wednesday evenings from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for peer-to-peer support. To be considered for this closed group, please contact Client Services Coordinator, Joi Smith, by the end of December 2013 at 603.436.4107 or info@sassnh.org.

In addition to the group starting in January, SASS support groups are on-going and available for survivors of adult sexual assault, non-offending parents and partners as well as coping skills.

 

SASS Welcomes Employees: Client Services Coordinator, Joi Smith and Community Outreach Coordinator, Christiana Amesquita

October 17, 2013, Portsmouth, NH- Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) is excited to welcome Joi Smith and Christiana Amesquita to the agency.

Joi Smith joins SASS as the Client Services Coordinator responsible for overseeing the 24 hour support services available to anyone impacted by sexual violence. Having served as both a SASS volunteer advocate and nighttime supervisor, Joi brings a wealth of experience in client services to this position. In addition, Joi is a long-time supporter of SASS, having spent several years as the organizer, producer and director of V-Day Portsmouth and Rochester, NH in which proceeds raised benefit both SASS and A Safe Place.

Joi looks forward to sharing SASS's mission and building deeper relationships within the community. "Working for SASS in this new role is such an amazing opportunity! I love this agency, and I am so passionate about the work we do every day. From education and prevention to client services and volunteers, SASS is such a wonderful resource for the Seacoast and it is my mission to continue to raise awareness, establish more community involvement, and serve our clients with an open heart," said Joi.

Christiana Amesquita comes to SASS as the new Community Outreach Coordinator! Her passion for the nonprofit sector began as the PR Coordinator for a Museum and Farm in the Mount Washington Valley area and transpired to several organizations including Southern New Hampshire University and the Greater Manchester Habitat for Humanity.

With nearly five years of nonprofit marketing and outreach experience, Christiana is excited to bring her skills to SASS stating, "It's a wonderful opportunity to be part of such a supportive and caring organization. I am confident that SASS can become increasingly more accessible and identifiable so that the community as a whole can benefit from its services and can see the value of actively engaging and supporting the agencies efforts."

 

This recent article appeared in the Portsmouth Herald, and contains information about the SASS training teams.

SASS and the Child Advocacy Center of Rockingham County have been chosen as the beneficiaries for the 2013 Seacoast Half Marathon! http://www.seacoasthalfmarathon.com/

 

2nd Annual Kids Are Our Business Breakfast 

From The Portsmouth Herald, April 3, 2013

By Charles Mcmahon

 

PORTSMOUTH — "What would you do if you weren't afraid?"

 

That was the question Portsmouth Herald photojournalist Deb Cram asked Tuesday before a crowd of supporters who gathered at the Portsmouth Harbor Events Center for the 2013 Kids Are Our Business Breakfast hosted by Sexual Assault Support Services.

 

"Everyone in this room has let fear stop them in some capacity," said Cram, who served as keynote speaker for the second annual event. "Fear is what feeds the secrets. It keeps it alive, keeps it thriving."

 

Having attended the inaugural SASS event last year that featured Detective Rick Labell of the Raymond Police Department, Cram's path to confronting her fear came full circle Tuesday. Much like Labell, who shared stories of his childhood family abuse, Cram took center stage during the event to open up about her own abuse as a young girl.

Her appearance comes after a whirlwind year in which Cram, now 51, detailed her abusive childhood through a production she helped create called "Click: A Journey of Abuse and Survival" at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre.

 

Today, Cram said, she makes it her mission to conquer fear.

 

"When I get to a point in the day where I'm afraid of something, I say, 'screw it' and I do it," she said. "I take the risk, and it's usually worth it."

 

During her roughly 13-minute talk, Cram shared a story about a friend she grew up with who was sexually abused by her father from second to sixth grade. The friend, who Cram said was forced to deal with the abuse for years, ended up lighting herself on fire.

 

"I remember she was running down the streets of Somersworth, just a ball of fire," Cram said.

 

The girl survived thanks to a police officer, but she was hospitalized for months. Cram said it was a shame that something like SASS wasn't around back then for her friend.

"If it was, I bet it would've made a difference," she said.

 

Cram said she also recalled an instance where she and her mother and brother were forced to hide behind a stone wall while her father shot at them with a gun.

"I remember it like it was yesterday," she said.

 

Another story Cram said she won't soon forget involved watching as her father beat her mother. Cram said she remembers going wild trying to defend her mother.

"I ran in there and told my dad to stop hitting her," she said. "He hit me and then kept pounding on her."

 

Cram also shared a story of the sexual abuse she endured at the hands of her foster mother at the age of 14. She said she remembers being made to feel like she could not talk about it with anyone.

 

"She said I couldn't tell anyone," he said.

 

Because of that, Cram said, her experience in high school was hell and her life was forever changed.

 

"I always slept with a bat under my bed and a knife under my pillow," she said.

 

But regardless of the fear she experienced growing up, Cram said Tuesday that she felt more confident than ever about confronting those emotions.

"I'm here because I want to stop the secrets," she said. "I'm 50 years old and kept thinking,

Click: A Journey of Abuse and Survival

December 4, 2012
Seacoast Repertory Theatre, Portsmouth, NH

Directed by local filmmaker and writer Lars Trodson, "Click" told Cram's story of living with a physically abusive father and, later, a sexually abusive foster mother.

Women's Empowerment Workshop

December 1 and 2, 2012
Rasamaya Movement Center Studio, Dover NH

Documentary filmmakers announced a world tour and women's empowerment workshop aiming to empower women through movement workshops, photography, writing and film. The Shakti Revolution workshop utilizes yoga, meditation, music and Thai Bodywork as tools to help women to dive deeply into their emotional body in a safe and supportive environment. The creators are strongly motivated to the idea of paying it forward in the world and donated 25% of the profit from the workshop to SASS.

Seacoast Half Marathon

November 11, 2012
Portsmouth, NH

Huge kudos and thanks to the members of the 2012 Running for You(th)! Half Marathon Training Team for completing the race! The team collectively raised over $10,000 to support the SASS "Safe Kids. Strong Teens." Prevention Education Program. This year the team was once again Coached by Jack Davis, and sponsored by Martin's Point Health Care. Many thanks to Jack for his expertise and Martin's Point for their support.


Soaring for SASS

October 13, 2012
Skydive New England, Lebanon ME

Soaring for SASS once again raised funds for our "Safe Kids. Strong Teens." Prevention Education Program by having participants jump out of a plane! It's was great fun and an experience of a lifetime for our brave jumpers.


Community Supper Night

July 10 and July 17, 2012
Robert's Maine Grill, Kittery ME

SASS was the designated charity to receive 5% of the sales on these dates. Thankk you to all who visited Robert's on these special nights!

Somersworth Children's Festival

June 16, 2012
Downtown Somersworth NH

SASS had a booth with program information, and space for kids to color the winning 2012 Keeping Kids SAFE t-shirt.

1st Annual Kids Are Our Business Breakfast

May 17, 2012, 8:00am-9:30am
Portsmouth Harbor Events and Conference Center

The event brought together business and community leaders to raise awareness of the prevalence of child victimization. It also served to highlight the "Safe Kids. Strong Teens." prevention education program and reviewed what the agency has been doing to help end the cycle of violence.

Children's Day

May 6, 2012
Downtown Portsmouth

This festival combined family-friendly activities and entertainment sponsored and hosted by the Downtown Merchants. The SASS table hosted kids coloring the winning 2012 Keeping Kids SAFE t-shirts, as well as information on our programs and services.

FlatBread Pizza Night

April 10, 2012
138 Congress St, Portsmouth NH

The Flatbread Company once again graciously hosted an evening filled with organic pizza, drinks and desserts. A portion of the proceeds went towards SASS programming.

 
If You Need Help

Call our 24-hour toll-free crisis hotline:
(888) 747-7070

or (603) 436-1627.

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