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Brian Golden, from Chicago, and Libby Matthews, from Seattle, performers of Catharsis Productions, act out scenarios in which a man acts inappropriately toward a woman during the comedic play 'Sex Signals.' The play's intent is to send out a message about sexual assault prevention. The goal of the play is to also help service members understand what consent is and that 'no means no.'::r::::n::::r::::n::

Photo by Lance Cpl. Khoa Pelczar

'Sex Signals' play teaches sexual assault prevention

3 Nov 2009 | Lance Cpl. Khoa N. Pelczar

"What would Chuck Norris do?" The crowd laughs as the on-stage performer jokingly asks himself for guidance as he attempts to ask out an attractive woman at a party.

First Marine Logistics Group hosted "Sex Signals" at the Base Theater, Oct. 27-28. "Sex Signals" is a 90-minute interactive comedic play with a sexual assault prevention message.

Actors Libby Matthews and Brian Golden acted out various scenarios in which situations involving service members might lead to sexual assault, like drinking at a party. The actors even took suggestions for pick-up lines from the Marine audience.

Although the play was a comedy, the subject matter is no laughing matter.

According to the Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2008 annual report, there was an eight percent increase in reports of sexual assault involving service members, compared to FY07.

Service members need to understand what consent is, and it is their responsibility to get consent from their partners before engaging in sexual intercourse. Sexual assault is not tolerated in the Corps.

"Not only is sexual assault criminal, the potential costs and consequences are simply too high," according to the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Policy.

"For the military, the potential costs are even higher as it can also negatively impact mission readiness. Service members risk their lives for one another and bear the responsibility of keeping fellow service members out of harm's way. Sexual assault in the military breaks this bond, and units may be torn apart."

Most sexual assault cases that occur do not get reported to law enforcement or the service member's command. Possible reasons for this are the social stigma involved or they just don't understand the process of reporting.

Eighty percent of sexual assault victims know their attacker, according to actor Brian Golden, who starred in Sex Signals. What one might conceive as "consent" might be construed as rape to another. So individuals must understand that "no means no."

"We can't control what will happen in the court room, but we can control our actions," said Golden, from Chicago, performer with Catharsis Productions. "That's what we want everyone to understand."

More than 150 Marines attended the play's premiere, and were able to ask questions and engage with the actors as the play progressed.

"It went great, we had a big turn out," said Golden. "We love it when the audience gets opinionated, that means they paid attention and heard our message."

The FY08 annual report states that DoD stays committed to eliminating sexual assault from the Armed Forces by maintaining a strong sexual assault prevention and response policy. It is important for service members to understand what sexual assault is and how to prevent it.

If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, contact your unit's Uniformed Victim Advocate.
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