Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence and Men Can Stop Rape (MCSR) have partnered to create the Where Do You Stand? Connecticut campaign. This campaign focuses on engaging Connecticut men in being active in the prevention of sexual violence in their communities. The campaign was designed to utilize bystander intervention theory and techniques to equip men with the tools necessary to take a stand against all forms of sexual violence. Where Do You Stand? Connecticut empowers men to use their voice, influence, and actions to become a part of the solution, rather than being a part of the problem. Over the past three years, more than 2,500 men have participated in our Where Do You Stand? Connecticut bystander intervention trainings.
—Dylan Figueiredo, Victim Advocate at Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury
—Gregg Haddad, Connecticut State Representative
—Marcus Johnson, Student at Northwestern Connecticut Community College
We believe that men play a crucial role in preventing sexual violence. Men perpetrate the bulk of sexual violence in our society. In many cases, it is a small population of men committing multiple sexual assaults. However, while only a small percentage of men commit rape, many more men are likely to participate in cultures that support, glorify, and justify violence against women and girls.
In order to end sexual violence, all men need to be actively engaged in addressing cultural norms that support sexual violence. If every man worked to hold other men accountable, our society could be free from sexual violence.
What is bystander intervention?
Bystander intervention aims at empowering each of us to be active in responding to and preventing sexual violence. Bystander intervention quite simply means having a willingness to take action when it’s needed. Ending sexual violence, and all forms of oppression, will take a lot of collective work. We all need to be willing to take action to challenge cultures that support and allow sexual violence to occur. Bystander intervention techniques can involve a wide range of interventions from being direct to creating a distraction. Bystander interventions provide men with useful tools to stop a range of negative behaviors and to create spaces where everyone is safe and respected.
Can we prevent sexual violence?
Yes, sexual violence is preventable. Sexual violence affects entire communities; therefore, solutions also need to engage entire communities. Violence prevention aims at stopping violence before it occurs and requires an understanding of the factors that influence violence. It is important to take into consideration the complex relationship that individuals have with the world around them and how that influences their behaviors. Sexual violence can be prevented by using comprehensive, multifaceted strategies that empower both individuals and communities to address attitudes, cultures, and actions that contribute to rape culture.
The Alliance continues to engage men as allies in work to prevent sexual violence by cultivating prevention leaders in Connecticut. This council will be facilitated by Andrew Stewart, Assistant Professor at the Hiatt School of Psychology at Clark University, and longtime partner of The Alliance. Andrew is a leader in the prevention of sexual violence and is committed to empowering men to be involved in prevention.Learn More
This project was funded in part by the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.