"It's not somebody elses issue. Sexual assault can knock on your door at any moment. It may be somebody that you know. It may happen to you. It may happen to a family member, so changing the culture is the ultimate goal." said Ivonne Zucco, Executive Director for the Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education.
The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education kicked off the Where Do You Stand? campaign Thursday morning by reaching out to community leaders in Greenwich.
Setta Mushegian, Senior Crisis Counselor at the Center said "It's a campaign to bring bystander intervention tools to men in our community so they are better equipped to intervene in situations that could lead to sexual violence."
Where Do You Stand? is a state wide campaign with Connecticut being the first state in the country to launch the coordinated training program.
Zucco added, "Reaching out to community leaders is kind of the beginning of setting up the roots of this campaign in which we have community leaders who are informed, understand the issue, and then can take over and say to the ones that they can reach out to 'Here is something important - we need to talk about it.'
The Center says it is important for men to speak up and involved with the fight against sexual violence.
Chris Carlino, Community Educator at the Center said, "The majority of sexual violence is committed by men but only a very small minority of men commit that violence. Which means what is really going on is there's a large population of men out there who see this stuff happening, who hear their friends tell jokes and stories about possibly dangerous or sexually violent situations, and who themselves probably don't agree with it."
Mushegian added, "We really need to shift our focus to people who see it happening so that they can intervene but also to people who can potentially be perpetrators."
The Center says it will start training programs for the Where Do You Stand? campaign throughout Lower Fairfield County in October.