HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — If you are thinking about going out to grab a cold one on this Friday night, you may want to head out to Oozlefinch Brewery on Ft. Monroe in Hampton. They are hosting a first-of-its-kind event to support victims of sexual assault.
The Sexual Assault Survivor Support Festival (SASS) will benefit the new non-profit Breaking the Silence Advocacy Global Inc.
The organization was founded by local musician Myra Smith-Jones, who also wrote a song and book about her personal experience. “I am a two time rape survivor myself, personally. I was a child rape survivor; I was raped at 6 by a cousin and then I was raped at 26,” she told WAVY.
Smith-Jones was forced to keep the family secret. After her grandmother passed away, she went public. The non-profit started last year.
“We foster resiliency of survivors. We take them from tragedy to freedom. We are there with them in the ER when they are with the rape kits and stuff. We go with them to the magistrate; we go with them to get the restraining order. We have all kinds of therapeutic events and things that we do,” said Smith-Jones.
In order to pay for therapeutic services, and a 72-hour safe house, on August 12, the group is hosting a family-friendly festival with food trucks, face painting and live performances focused on healing victims.
“It’s just like cancer to me; cancer can affect anybody and everybody, so can sexual assault, molestation and rape period,” she said.
Brave survivors from ages 9 to 50 will also be breaking their silence at the event as they work to heal themselves and help others.
SASSfest is Aug 12 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Oozlefinch Beers & Blending, 81 Patch Road, in Hampton.