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Midlands non-profit works to end trafficking, assault through empowerment

Columbia WIS TV logo Columbia WIS TV 9/23/2020 Madeline Cuddihy
a group of people standing next to a woman: WIS10 © Provided by Columbia WIS TV WIS10

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Midlands native Shannon Henry is on a mission to help women.

“When we look at the United States, one in six women will be assaulted in their lifetime,” she said.

A survivor of assault, Henry wanted to be able to bring women the resources, support, and tools to make sure it didn’t happen to one of them.

Thus, her idea for the non-profit SASS GO was formed.

“I said, we have to have a cure for this and we have to start in our own backyard for our own children, our own families, and our own community - and that’s what we’ve done.”

SASS GO, which has taken off globally, has a variety of classes and programs, all designed with the aim to empower women’s self-defense skills, confidence, and camaraderie.

Here in the Midlands, Kelly Hoppmann is one of the women who’s benefitted from SASS' classes and said the group has changed more than just her life.

“As a working mother...I got involved and said let me see if I can learn some things - and then I learned that my little girls could benefit from it.”

Hoppmann’s daughters are in the “Sassafras” classes, designed for younger age groups, to begin the conversation around what’s okay, what’s not, and listening to those all-important instincts.

“My daughters are learning, at a very young age, not just how to protect themselves, but how to use their voice and feel powerful,” Hoppmann said.

As the conversation around human trafficking continues to dominate social media headlines, Henry’s group is seeking ways that they can reach out to the community through teaching.

The group will hold an online “Auction for Action” from October 23-25th to benefit their continued classes here in South Carolina and all over the world.

To find out more about SASS GO’s classes & auction, you can visit their website here.

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