By Tom Budzyna, USAG Schinnen Public AffairsMarch 25, 2010
SCHINNEN, Netherlands - ItAca,!a,,cs no laughing matter. Sexual assault is a crime and undermines the mission, and Catharsis Productions has a presentation that incorporates improvisational comedy, education, and audience interaction to provide a provocative look at dating, sex, and the core issue of consent for active duty service members.
The Netherlands is just one of at least nine stops where Catharsis Productions will present Sex Signals in April. Their presentation has been popular and effective among U.S. college campuses and miltary audiences alike.
Other planned stops in U.S. Army Europe include Hohenfels (April 19), Grafenwoehr April 20), Bamberg (April 21), Schweinfurt (April 21), Heidelberg (April 22), Mannheim (April 22), Wiesbaden (April 23), Baumholder (April 26), Kaiserslautern (April 27) and Stuttgart (April 28).
Active duty service members in the tri-border region between USAG Schinnen and Geilenkirchen NATO Air Base can see Sex Signals April 26, 9 a.m. in the JFC Alliance Theater. ItAca,!a,,cs just one of many events in April to draw attention to National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The Sex Signals performance is about 75 minutes in length followed by a 1-hour discussion between the active duty audience and the presenters.
All of the presenters associated with Sex Signals possess a wealth of improvisation, presentation, and facilitation training and experience. They are all either certified rape victim advocates or own significant experience in sexual assault prevention education. Presenters receive over one-hundred hours of training through Catharsis Productions before ever presenting.
Aca,!A"The Sex Signals Army version program is a key component in the Secretary of the Army's effort to eradicate sexual assault from its ranks and complements the Army and Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response programs,Aca,!A? said Suzanne Roberts, USAG Schinnen Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.
The Department of DefenseAca,!a,,cs Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign focuses on the effects sexual assault has on mission readiness, which defines a unitAca,!a,,cs ability to deploy quickly and efficiently. Sexual assault can reverberate throughout a unit and beyond, degrading readiness by harming the life of the victim, and the militaryAca,!a,,cs ability to work effectively as a team.
Aca,!A"The Department of Defense theme is: Hurts one. Affects all. Each and every individual has the ability to stop sexual assaults,Aca,!A? said Sharon Swanson, Lead VictimAca,!a,,cs Advocate, Geilenkirchen NATO Air Base, Germany.
The Department of Defense is committed to maintaining an environment that rejects sexual assault and reinforces a positive workplace culture of prevention, response and accountability. This policy ensures the well-being of all members of the Armed Forces as well as their safety.
Aca,!A"The DoD has a no-tolerance policy toward sexual assault. This type of act not only does unconscionable harm to the victim; it destabilizes the workplace and threatens national security,Aca,!A? said Dr. Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense.
The DoD campaign is spearheaded by an Active Bystander training program intended to expand how we think about defense -- that it extends to the obligation of all of us to keep each other safe on and off the battlefield, and in our homes and communities.
Aca,!A"If you witness a situation that could lead to an assault, you are empowered to intervene and help prevent the crime,Aca,!A? said Swanson.
SAPR, for Sexual Assault Awareness and Response, is a organization common to U.S. military installations worldwide. ItAca,!a,,cs responsible for overseeing the enforcement of Department of Defense (DoD) sexual assault policies.
Active Bystander Intervention training recognizes that both men and women can be bystanders Aca,!" or active bystanders. Through gender and leadership based educational modules, participants in Active Bystander training will have opportunities to model and feel comfortable using intervention techniques that can protect themselves and others in the event of a sexual assault.
Aca,!A"One of the goals of this interactive training is to motivate and mobilize people who may see, hear, or otherwise recognize signs of an inappropriate behavior or an unsafe situation, to act or intervene,Aca,!A? Swanson said.
To kick-off the recognition of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the entire tri-border community is invited to participate in a 5K run/walk, April 12, 8 a.m., which starts at the USAG Schinnen Fitness Center.
For additional sexual awareness information, please visit the SARPRO site www.sapr.mil/ for reporting procedures, training information, links and resources. Information about Sex Signals can be found at www.catharsisproductions.com/military.html.
To report a sexual assault or for more information, call 0031-46-443-7367 during duty hours or 0031-61-297-3591 (24-hours). The U.S. Army Europe-wide sexual assault hotline is 00800-0277-2858.