Sexual assault training hits home for Marines at Pendleton[MIGRATE]
By Cpl. Derrick K. Irions
| April 03, 2013
Stressing the importance of bystander intervention, Central Michigan University's Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates, or SAPA, performed live skits for an audience of Marines to raise awareness about sexual assault prevention and response here April 1-2.
In the production "No Zebra's, No Excuses," the character’s behaviors are compared to the actions wild zebras make in response to predator attacks.
When attacked, zebras flee and disperse instead of staying together and forming a strong group. This allows a predator to isolate and take down a victim. Once the herd realizes the chase has subsided and there is no longer an imminent threat, it completely disregards the isolated zebra.
"The biggest thing to do, even if it hasn't directly affected you or you don't think that it ever will, is to realize that it has affected a lot of people within the military," said Ashley N. Smith, a SAPA counselor and cast member with production. "Watching this (presentation) and understanding the information makes it a lot easier for someone to recognize a situation, stand up and do something about it."
The series of vignettes portrayed sexual-assault testimonials and addressed various topics like harassment, stalking, sexual violence and abuse.
"Sexual assault goes against everything we are as Marines," said Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Micheal P. Barrett in a recent video. "Sexual assault is a shameful and disgusting crime, and failing to intervene if you witness it is a cowardly act."
The production is scheduled to continue performing at military installations in San Diego, Singapore, Diego Garcia and Guam.
"(Sexual assaults) can happen to anyone around you. (Marines) may not have seen it that way before this training, but hopefully now they notice it," explained Sgt. Cameron C. Holder, a Marine Corps Community Services Marine here.
For more information about sexual assault prevention and response, upcoming events and locations visit No Zebras and More.
Contact Cpl. Derrick K. Irions at firstname.lastname@example.org.