In an effort to educate bystanders more, the Avon Foundation for Women recently gave Western Connecticut State University a $10,000 grant.

 The grant was given through Avon’s “Speak Out Against Domestic Violence” initiative. It will be used to fund WCSU’s Bystander Intervention initiatives, specifically the “Where Do You Stand?” campaign and training to reduce stalking, dating abuse, and sexual assault.

 WCSU, in alliance with the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury, will teach participants how bystander intervention theory works. Participants will also learn different strategies for healthy intervention.

 This is the first time that WCSU has received funding through the Avon Foundation. Since 1955, it has grown to become the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy to focus on women’s issues. Avon has contributed over $1 billion in over 50 countries to try to reduce domestic and gender violence, as well as funding breast cancer research and advancing access to quality care.

 WCSU is one of 25 colleges that the Avon Foundation has given grants to. $250,000 has been awarded total for preventative education programs centered on dating abuse and violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Healthy relationships are promoted in the program, and local resources are made available for anyone who needs them.

 The grant also supports educator training, materials and support sessions about healthy relationships.

“We believe that all students should have the skills necessary to intervene in problematic situations and create a culture on campus of engagement, activism, and responsibility,” said Ann Rodwell-Lawton, program manager of education and outreach, The Women’s Center of Greater Danbury.

 For more information on “Where Do You Stand?”, contact Sharon Guck at gucks@wcsu.edu or Rayna Havelock from the Women’s Center at havalockr@wcsu.edu, rayna.h@wcogd.org.