The Center to declare April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education (The Center) together with leaders across the nation and throughout Lower Fairfield County will proclaim April to be Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). New Canaan Chief of Police, Leon Krolikowski, will join The Center, along with town officials from Darien, Greenwich, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport and Wilton for a “kick-off” and press conference on Wednesday, April 6, at 9:30 a.m., at the New Canaan Police Station, 174 South Avenue.

The Center has adopted the National “Prevention is Possible” as its theme for SAAM.         

New Canaan Chief of Police, Leon Krolikowski, will start the press conference by proclaiming April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. He will be followed by Ivonne Zucco, Executive Director of The Center, and then sexual assault survivor Michelle Giorno will speak. They will share their thoughts and perspectives on the issue of sexual assault, the importance of prevention efforts and the critical role The Center plays in providing counseling, advocacy and education throughout Lower Fairfield County.  The Public is welcome to attend.

The statistics are alarming both nationally and locally:

  • Every 107 seconds another American is sexually assaulted.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 Connecticut residents have experienced a sexual assault in their lifetime.
  • 14% of Connecticut residents have experienced a childhood sexual assault.
  • 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted by the age of 18 and over 90% of the time the abuser is someone the child knows and trusts.

Even one instance of sexual violence is too many. That’s why prevention education is essential to stopping this crime from happening in the first place. The Center’s age appropriate programs teach children and youth in our schools effective tools to empower them to trust their instinct when something seems wrong. The Center also provides sexual violence prevention education to the community at large, including college students, parents, law enforcement, teachers, social workers, health professionals, etc.

“Sexual assault is an issue that affects more people than we are aware of.  The Center is a safe place for survivors to come forward but without the collaboration of the rest of the community we wouldn’t be able to do our work effectively. That’s why we would like to recognize our partners and invite the community to join us during sexual assault awareness month and speak up on behalf of those that have no voice.” ~Ivonne Zucco, executive director of The Center.

In recognition of SAAM, The Center will be hosting a series of events throughout the month to raise awareness in the towns they serve:

  • Tuesday, April 5 — Tabling event at New Canaan High School, 11 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 13 — Tabling event at Stamford High School, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Monday, April 18 — Tabling event at Greenwich High School, 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 24 — Kickboxing for a Cause at The DOJO Westport , 772 Post Road East, 10-11:30 a.m., $35, register by April 15, 203-557-8815

Friday, April 29, Raise Your Glass, Raise Awareness Gala, “The Year of the Survivor”, from 7-11 p.m., at The Waters Edge at Giovanni’s, Darien. Tickets $150, call The Center at 203-348-9346 to register or for more information.

About The Center

Serving Lower Fairfield County since 1979, The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education provides free, 24-hour confidential help to women, men and children who have experienced sexual violence.  Additionally, it provides age-appropriate prevention education for children ages 4-18 and college students as well as education programs for the community at large. The Center supports eight towns in Lower Fairfield County including: Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.  The Center provided crisis counseling to over 480 people and prevention education to nearly 14,000 children and adults in the last fiscal year. To learn more about The Center call 203-348-9346 or visit  thecenter-ct.org.

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