Navy ditches PowerPoint, brings in actors to battle sexual assault
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The Navy is revamping its approach to combating sexual assault in its presentation to sailors and potentially in the way it monitors the accused.
Lectures with bullet points on large screens are being sidelined in favor of actors role-playing the tough issues, as 7th Fleet sailors at Yokosuka saw Tuesday and Wednesday during programs that addressed themes like victim retaliation and male-on-male sexual assault.
Scenarios included a sailor being ostracized by friends and peers for reporting a rape, and a sailor struggling to reconcile a childhood sexual assault with his ideas of traditional masculinity.
Using Pure Praxis, a California-based theater group contracted by the Navy since 2015, is more time-consuming and expensive — but also more effective, said Jill Loftus, director of the Navy’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.
Sailors who spoke with Stars and Stripes following the performances generally agreed that the actors gave the issues more emotional resonance.
“I’ve been in the Navy 13 years and it’s all been PowerPoint,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Roberto Coriano, a ship’s serviceman at Yokosuka’s Naval Supply Fleet Logistics Center. “Bringing [the training] on stage, it makes you think about it more. [Sailors] see the real thing on stage.
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