Sexual assault is any involuntary sexual act in which a person is coerced or physically forced to engage against their will or any non-consensual sexual touching of a person.

SACS provides free and confidential services to sexual assault survivors and their loved ones including:

Sexual assault survivors and their loved ones can use any of our services anonymously. Certified sexual assault counselor advocates are protected under Connecticut General Statute 52-146k - Privileged communications between the victim and domestic violence counselor or sexual assault counselor.

YWCA SACS accepts applications for our Counselor Advocate Training classes throughout the year.  This in-depth training covers the dynamics of sexual assault/abuse and its effects on survivors and their loved ones.  This class is for anyone interested in volunteering on our 24-hour crisis hotline and may also be taken for professional development.  Once the course is completed, we ask volunteers to commit to one year of volunteering two shifts per month. You may download an application here or contact our Volunteer Program Manager, at 860-225-4681 x257 or

Our Volunteer Program Manager regularly seeks volunteers for office administration support, fundraising, and outreach through tabling events.

Please get in touch with our Community Educator at 860-225-4681 x214 to learn of the training opportunities available at this time.

Prevention and awareness are often seen as synonymous but serve different purposes in the movement against sexual violence. Awareness involves educating people about an issue and making them aware of the problem. Awareness by itself does not prevent violence, but maybe a necessary step in bringing people to talk about prevention. After all, we cannot prevent something that we are not aware of. Prevention moves forward from “this is the problem” to “this is the solution.”
In the context of sexual violence, “risk reduction” refers to a way many people think about preventing sexual assault. Risk reduction messages focus on personal safety and often involve providing advice on how to “avoid” becoming the victim of sexual assault. If you’ve ever been told to carry pepper spray, take a self-defense class, or carry a rape whistle, you have heard risk-reduction messaging. While personal safety is important, these messages shift the responsibility for stopping sexual assault to potential victims and do not address the root causes of violence. Prevention requires an understanding of why some people choose to commit sexual assault and addressing those negative behaviors. If we want to end sexual violence in our culture, we need to move beyond education that puts the responsibility on the person who could be assaulted and toward education that puts the responsibility on the person choosing to commit sexual assault, as well as the social norms that normalize this kind of violence.
  • Be an active bystander – step in and say something when you see the harmful or disrespectful behavior.
  • Treat others with respect and model healthy behaviors in all of your relationships.
  • Believe survivors and offer support in finding resources.
  • Provide training on sexual violence and how to prevent it.
  • Create policies that promote safety, equality, and respect.
  • Make respect the norm and encourage people to have open conversations about safety.
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