Theatrical group, Navy partner for abuse awareness program

LIHUE — The theatrical group Pure Praxis will be on Kauai this week to help confront sexual assault.

Pure Praxis, which is based in California, is partnering with the Navy Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office to teach officers how to recognize behaviors connected with sexual assault.

The program is made available to Navy bases around the world, and while non-Marines can participate, usually only people with access to the base can be a part of it.

But not on Kauai. Pure Praxis will give two performances at Kauai Community College at noon and 5 p.m. Thursday. The public is welcome.

Goals include promoting a culture of gender respect and individual responsibility, reducing the incidence of sexual assault, and improving support for survivors of sexual assault.

Through audience participation, the group discusses topics like bystander intervention, proactive prevention, domestic violence and appreciation of diversity.

“When the Department of Defense wanted to talk about retaliation, social ostracism and male sexual assault, we wrote a new script and contracted with the group Pure Praxis,” said Jill Loftus, SAPRO director. “I’m pleased sailors are coming to the shows and are enjoying them. We hope they realize it’s not as easy as it looks and it takes courage to stand up for someone else.”

Pure Praxis is a social theatre group dedicated to cultural change. Performances use improve theatre as a way to rehearse for life situations so the audience can practice safe solutions.

Throughout the 60-minute show, audience members will be asked to go up on stage to assist the actors in preventing sexual assault.

After the show, Loftus will answer questions from the audience.


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