Sex Signals show provides laughs, rape education to Soldiers
Sex Signals presenters Amber Kelly (from left) and Ben Murrie act out real-life dating scenes - with a side of comedy - for U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Soldiers July 21 in the Patch Community Club.

STUTTGART, Germany - Nearly 300 Soldiers gathered in the Patch Community Club July 21 for a briefing on sexual assault - and laughed through the whole thing.

The "briefing" was the traveling show, "Sex Signals," which uses comedy and audience participation to discuss date rape.

The show, produced by Catharsis Productions, is geared toward young people between the ages of 18 and 25. The U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart performance (and other Army garrison shows) are sponsored by U.S. Army Europe G1.

Sex Signals reveals how expectations on men and women can lead to rape, using cultural slang and references commonly heard in the dating scene.

"It opens up conversation, and the style the issue is presented in just allows people to break down barriers they usually have with this issue," said Amber Kelly, Sex Signals presenter.

During the show, an actor portrayed a service member accused of rape who tells his side of the story on a talk show. Soldiers in the audience had the opportunity to ask him questions, in order to determine whether or not he was truly guilty.

The scene prompted a discussion on what it means to get consent.

"It is about choice, but it's also about [not] taking away somebody's choice," Murrie said. "How do we get a 'yes'' We have to ask."

The show was entertaining, but also educational, said Cpl. Christopher Altman, a military policeman.

"It was very down-to-earth, comical and realistic - knowing what they do on stage actually does happen out in the city," he said.

Altman said he also learned a new fact.

"I didn't know the difference between restricted reporting and non-restricted reporting," he added.

This kind of feedback is what Mariana Graupmann, USAG Stuttgart Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, was hoping to receive. In previous years, Graupmann presented the date rape material to Soldiers with slide shows and lectures.

"It presents information in a fun way that they can get engaged in, instead of me just talking," she said.

Command Sgt. Major Anthony M. Bryant, garrison command sergeant major, also enjoyed seeing a fun presentation that was geared especially toward young service members.

"It's a very impressive message that, hopefully, [young Soldiers] will remember," he said. "I hope it does spark something positive."

Page last updated Mon July 26th, 2010 at 10:01