Putting the STOP to sexual assault

Compiled Story and photo by Dr. Thomas Appel-Schumacher
U.S. Air Forces in Europe

USAFE’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program uses plays to educate, inform

***image1***The U.S Air Forces in Europe Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program is offering several performances by a professional acting company that specializes in teaching people about preventing relationship violence.

Deana’s Educational Theater from Boston will tour Ramstein, Spangdahlem Air Base, Incirlik Air Base, Izmir Air Station, Lajes Air Field, RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath this month.

The show, “Remote Control,” is set for 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Nightingale Theater on Ramstein. The other show, “Yellow Dress,” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Kaiserslautern High School Auditorium.

The acting company’s mission is to refresh USAFE Airmen’s understanding of what sexual assault is, how it hurts unit readiness and mission accomplishment, what consent in a sexual relationship looks like, and ways to be a responsible wingman, perhaps intervening to prevent a sexual assault from occurring.

The two different shows will be presented live and will allow the audience to interact. In this way, learning can come alive and be both heard and felt. The first show, “Remote Control,” depicts dramatic dialogue and action that is very similar to what Airmen experience while socializing. During the show, a remote control device is activated occasionally to “stop the action” and get the audience to determine what might happen next.

The person with the remote control then rewinds the scene and the actors re-do the scene with a different outcome. This teaching method gets people involved and can change behavior much more than the frequently used briefing slides.

“The Yellow Dress” is a dramatic one-person play, in which a young woman tells her heartbreaking story of a relationship that goes from pure bliss to stark sadness and tragedy. She often interacts with the audience to ask for their input on what she should do in certain situations regarding the evolving relationship. Again, this play deeply impacts viewers and makes them realize the horrible results of violence in a relationship.

Each USAFE installation that is hosting this touring company has a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.  Call 480-5597 for more information.