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'Sex Signals' tour teaches awareness, prevention

Sgt. Stephanie Bryant,
2008-11-26

Courtney Abbott and Ben Murrie, the Sex Signals program actors, perform a skit Nov. 6 where Ben must convince the audience that he is not guilty of date rape, even though all the signals point to his guilt. The Rape Talk Show skit was one of many performed during the program at Fort Hood, Texas. Photo by Sgt. Stephanie Bryant


FORT HOOD, Texas (Army News Service, Nov. 18, 2008) --

Soldiers filed into Howze Theater Nov. 6 for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response training expecting a slide presentation.

However, the Army has brought something different to Fort Hood to educate Soldiers on sexual assault prevention and awareness.

"Sex Signals" is a 90-minute two-person program that includes skits that deal with subjects including dating, rape, consent and other associated topics such as body language, alcohol and intervention.

The program, which has been presented at many universities and colleges, was created by Catharsis Productions, an organization that uses innovative methods to educate audiences on social issues.

Fort Hood is the first military installation to test the program with an audience of Soldiers.

The actors, Courtney Abbott and Ben Murrie, performed skits about dating and rape, but the scenarios they played out were selected by the audience.

The audience members were given "Stop" signs they were asked to hold up if the the actors' behavior indicated the possibility a rape or if other inappropriate behavior occurred.

Spc. Tiffany Strand and Spc. Nicole Dolan, Dental Activity Soldiers, said they were pleasantly surprised by the training.

Strand said she heard it involved a play, but expected a routine briefing.

"It was interesting," Strand said. "The skit that stands out most in my mind," she added, "is the talk show about rape."

The talk show skit consisted of Abbott hosting a talk during which Murrie had to convince the audience that he had not raped a girl.

Once Murrie had presented his side of the story, the audience decided if he had committed a rape.

All of the skits included situations Soldiers might experience, the two specialists agreed.

Abbott and Murrie said they were pleased with the responses they have received about the program from the troops at Fort Hood.

Murrie attributed the Soldiers' positive responses to the fact that the program is presented in a fresh and unusual manner.

Sex Signals will be performed at Fort Hood through Dec. 19.

(Sgt. Stephanie Bryant writes for the Sentinel newspaper at Fort Hood, Texas.)






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