What is SASC Ottawa?
The Sexual Assault Support center (SASC) is a registered Canadian charity and community-based organization that was established in 1983. We support all women and survivors. This including those from diverse groups, particularly, though not limited to, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people, immigrants and refugees, racialized persons, persons from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, and those with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions. SASC Ottawa strives to be a safe space for survivors of all intersections, and we believe a commitment to end gender-based violence is centred in the foundation of anti-oppressive values.
(Charity Registration: 107971806RR0001)
SASC believes that sexual violence is not about sexual desire. Sexual violence is about power and control. SASC views survivor reactions to sexual violence as normal, healthy responses. SASC supports women survivors through respect, empowerment, shared experiences, and strength. SASC is a feminist organization committed to political action and social change. SASC believes that gender-based violence prevents all women from achieving full political, social, and economic equality. SASC believes that our commitment to end gender-based violence means we must also work to end oppression based on race, class, sexual orientation, religion, and ability.
The Work We Do
Our purpose is to provide survivor-directed support services by women, to women who have experienced sexual violence. We strive to increase public awareness and offer training on the issues and effects of gender-based violence. We also engage in action to pressure for change in the structures and systems that contribute to the practice, maintenance, and tolerance of violence, oppression, discrimination and exploitation. Our work is informed by the principles of a feminist, anti-oppression framework, and our vision is a society free of all forms of violence.
SASC Ottawa’s Board
Ezioma Nnorom/ Executive Director
Kyla Reid, Chair/President
Kyla Reid (she/her) joined SASC as a volunteer peer support worker in 2015 and was elected to the SASC Board of Directors in 2018. She is serving her second term on the SASC. Kyla has spent most of her career in research management and administration, with the majority at Carleton University supporting research projects in the social sciences, where she also serves as the staff representative on the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Committee. Kyla holds a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton University, a Masters of Arts from the University of British Columbia, and a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Sydney (Australia). Kyla is committed to feminist politics, the movement to end gender based violence and supporting community groups engaged in this work. Beyond SASC, she has volunteered with Academics without Borders and in managing a local women’s dragon boat team.
Jessica Inglis, Treasurer
Jessica Inglis (she/her) joined SASC as a volunteer support worker in 2017 and was elected to the SASC Board of Directors in 2019. She is serving her first term on the SASC Board. Jessica has career in social services and community health, working with children and families, and more recently older adults and those affected by dementia. Jessica is committed to feminist and anti-oppressive values and takes a trauma informed approach in all her work.
Martha Chertkow, Secretary
Martha Chertkow (she/her) was elected to the SASC Board of Directors in 2021 and serves as Secretary. Martha spent four years as a Crown Prosecutor in the Northwest Territories (NWT) where she worked with survivors of sexual violence in remote communities across the NWT prosecuting hundreds of sexual assault and domestic violence matters. Martha has also spent time working in access to justice in Zambia and Timor-Leste with the United Nations, as well as with various community legal information clinics locally in Canada. She completed her law degree at McGill and undergraduate studies at Arthur Kroeger College at Carleton University and is currently legal counsel with the Department of Justice. Martha is an avid adventurer and is happiest on the land, whether hiking in the Arctic or bicycling across Africa.
Laïla Demirdache has been working as a staff lawyer with Community Legal Services of Ottawa since 2002 where she practices immigration and refugee law. Ms. Demirdache is a member of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers’ Budget Implementation Act Working Group and was one of the co-chairs of CARL’s detention Working Group. As well, she is a member of several committees including: the Canadian Council for Refugees’ Legal Affairs Advisory Committee and Inland Protection Steering Committee; the Ottawa Legal Aid Area Committee; the Immigration Law Legal Aid Area Committee; and the Ottawa Immigration Conference Organizing Committee. Ms. Demirdache was a member of a legal team representing Amnesty International Canada (English) on several occasions before the Supreme Court of Canada and most recently before the Ontario Court of Appeal.