Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

SARC presenter asks: Can I Kiss You?

(U.S. Air Force photo/Craig Denton) Runners launch into this year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month 5K fun run April 20 at the fitness center. Held by the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office, the run is intended raise awareness during sexual assault awareness month. Victim advocates gave out SAAM T-shirts, towels and bracelets to those in attendance.

By Lea Johnson

21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — How do you know when it’s time to make your move?

That’s the first question comedian Mike Domitrz asked Airmen who attended his show April 19.

The answer: Ask.

“Nobody teaches you how to ask,” Domitrz said. Body language is misinterpreted, he said, and making a move doesn’t give the other person a choice.

“By asking you give them the option,” he said.

Domitrz’ show, Can I Kiss You?, was brought to Peterson as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. “The idea is to not be afraid to talk about these issues publicly,” said Jeanine Arnold, 21st Space Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.

According to Arnold, many of the people who seek assistance mention that they heard about the SARC through a training or program, such as this one.

“(Domitrz) has a really great way of drawing people in with the humor and being able to make consent sound like it’s a really cool thing to talk about,” she said.

Initially, Arnold said, the show seems like it is for a young, single crowd, but really there’s something for people of all ages to take away.

Domitrz began performing his show a little more than 10 years ago after hearing that one of his sisters had been raped. “The strength of my sister after her assault is what inspired me to want to speak out,” he said. “Over time, working with audiences on this, what I learned is that audiences don’t want to be lectured, they don’t want to be told what to do, they want to be engaged and discover options and solutions.”

During the show, Domitrz had volunteers come up on stage to help act out different scenarios. Senior Airman Derek Woolbright-Hutchins, fitness center services journeyman, participated during the show both on stage and from the audience.

“It’s heavy but (presented) to you in a way that you remember because it’s fun,” Woolbright-Hutchins said.

As well as talking about consent, Domitrz also emphasizes the importance of bystander intervention and how to support loved ones who are victims of sexual assault.

“Fear is the only thing that stops us from doing the right thing when you know it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

Domitrz said this often makes us hypocrites because when it’s someone we don’t know who may be vulnerable we say it’s none of our business. However, if it’s someone we love, we’d be the first to speak up.

If a loved one does come forward and admit to being a victim of sexual assault, Domitrz said the last thing to do is apologize. “Say thank you for sharing and ask what you can do to help,” he said.

Domitrz’ performance, while light-hearted most of the time, stuck with members of the audience. “As soon as he said that his sister (was raped), I just wanted to call my sisters and let them know that I was going to be there for them if anything happened. It hit me to the core,” Woolbright-Hutchins said.

For more information about Can I Kiss You?, visit www.doyouask.com.

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