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Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education Receives $10,000 Grant

The Fairfield County Community Foundation awarded the grant for a program aimed at helping girls age 9 to 18.


The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education (The Center) has received a $10,000 grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls.

The money will be used to offer a Girls Circle program in Lower Fairfield County.

The Girls Circle model is a structured support group developed by the One Circle Foundation. It addresses the unique needs of girls ages 9 to 18, and is designed to increase positive connections, personal and collective strengths, and competence in girls.

The Center’s Executive Director Ivonne Zucco said in a statement, “I am thrilled that for the second consecutive year, the Fund for Women and Girls is supporting the unique efforts of The Center by funding our Girls Circle program, which focuses on ‘at-risk’ teens in Lower Fairfield County. Girls Circle maintains that girls have the basic right to safety and health. In fact, as we see all too often, many girls need protection and safety from relational, emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse. This is a sad, but true reality.”

The grant will allow the Center’s crisis counselors (who have been trained as facilitators of this model) will establish support groups in middle and high schools in Lower Fairfield County. The goal is to empower approximately 70 adolescent girls during the funding period, plus develop future leaders who will take a stand against sexual violence. 

For more than 35 years, the Center has helped survivors of sexual abuse – women, men and children by providing crisis counseling and advocacy services to residents of Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport and Wilton.

“Girls Circle, a well-regarded evidence based program, empowers girls by teaching resiliency skills while simultaneously emphasizing the importance of good choices,” Suzanne B. Peters, Vice President of the Fund for Women and Girls, said in a statement. “The Center is well known in Lower Fairfield County for its effectiveness at helping women survive and recover from sexual abuse, and the Girls Circle offering will continue to bolster the confidence and esteem levels of our region’s girls thwarting their likelihood of becoming future victims.”

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