CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait -- U.S. Army Central Command and 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team sponsored a "Tape" performance Aug. 6, in Kuwait and Qatar. The staged reading of "Tape" was in support of the Sexual Harassment or Assault Response Prevention Program.Written by film director Stephen Belber, the play was developed and produced by Outside the Wire and looks at how some victims deny or even refuse to accept they have been sexually assaulted.Maj. Marvin Brown, ARCENT SHARP program manager and a native of Aiken, South Carolina said when he heard about the performance he knew it would be a great opportunity to raise awareness and generate discussions about sexual assault and sexual harassment.Belber, who hosted the evening came to the stage and informed the audience of Soldiers that they were about to see dramatic play from point-of-view of victims of sexual assault followed by an open-forum question-and-answer discussion about the play and sexual assault.Three actors Stephen Belber, Erica Newhouse and Dryan Doerries came to
the stage and began reading their script about which happened more than 10 years ago.
"This was the first time we've had SHARP training where the Soldiers truly paid attention and participated," Sergeant First class Kathleen Sipes, 1st ABCT, SHARP and victim advocate coordinator said. "Several Soldiers shared their stories with the audience."Sipes, a native of Orange County, California, said it can take years for a person to face what happened to them.A female Soldier in the brigade, who spoke during the program talked about how her father molested her from the age 4 to 10 years old.She said was in denial about the incident because it was her father. She went on to say it took her more than 13 years before she was able to speak up, which resulted in her father being convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison."Many victims refuse to speak up for a variety of reasons like: fear of bodily injury or death, the perpetrator being a close friend or family member," Sipes said. "80 percent of attacks are committed by someone the victim knows."Another Soldier talked about how he was molested at age 10 by two older girls who made him perform sexual acts on them and they performed sexual acts on him while at his grandmother's home.Sipes said those are internal wounds that you cannot see just like bruises, they need time to heal and it will not happen overnight, so people have to be patient with victims.
"I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and had to see a counselor, when they asked if I had ever been molested as a child I said no," Staff Sgt. Markus Pryor, an electromagnetic spectrum manager with HHC, 1st ABCT, 1st Inf. Div., said. "I've held resentment and distrust towards my grandmother and all women for more than 22 years, due to this incident."Pryor a native of Chicago said once he began talking about what happened to him as a child with the counselor, he was able to forgive his grandmother and his relationship with his wife started to improve.Sipes said seeing all the Soldiers who stood up and shared their stories in an open forum like this was wonderful and courageous."We need to do more training like this, because it was very effective and encourage Soldiers to participate and" Sipes said. "We received so much positive feedback from Soldiers who could relate to the story and its message."