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‘Can I Kiss You’ teaches consent, importance of asking permission

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By EVY LACY

With Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month drawing to a close, Mike Domitrz, speaker and author visited Fort Knox April 27 and conducted three training sessions at Waybur Theater for military and civilian personnel of all ages.

Domitrz, a seasoned speaker, engaged the audience about consent and the importance of asking permission before engaging in intimacy with another person regardless if that person is your spouse.

Domitrz said “kindness goes a long way and I was surprised at how appreciated my significant other felt when I asked if he could kiss her.” Audience members joined in on the discussion throughout the presentation, not only to provide feedback, but to share what steps they were going to take to change their behavior.

The 90-minute session covered three major areas: asking a person before engaging in intimacy with their partner, intervention techniques if they see alcohol used to facilitate sexual assault and how to support a survivor if they confide that they have been sexually assaulted.

Domitrz developed this one- person show while still in college. He said it was the rape of his sister in the 1980s that motivated him to “think before he speaks and intervene if he sees someone setting a person up with alcohol.”

Domitrz advised the audience to refrain from making statements to victims, even if they are a loved one, such as “who did this, I’m going to kill them.” He said it is those type of statements that will discourage a victim from reporting.

During the presentation Domitrz also invited volunteers to demonstrate how to ask someone for a kiss. One volunteer made eye contact and it was apparent that he was exercising good manners and sincerity when he asked “can I kiss you.” However, the second participant was aloof, made no contact, and said “can we kiss?” The audience reacted to both participants in a positive and negative way respectively.

Domitrz made this year’s SHARP training interesting and engaging. Now it is up to the SHARP team to keep the momentum going for the additional 11 months.

Thank you to everyone who took the time out of their busy schedule to participate in the many activities during the month of April. Remember, sexual assault, sexual harassment, not in our Army! n