News | Feb. 5, 2016

Sailors in Singapore Take Creative Approach to SAPR Training Through Pure Praxis

By MC3 Madailein Abbott, Commander, Task Force 73 Public Affairs

SINGAPORE (NNS) -- Sailors and Department of Defense (DoD) personnel assigned to Navy Region Singapore took a creative approach to learning about Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Dec. 11, through their observations and interaction with the Pure Praxis performing arts group.

Pure Praxis is a socially adaptive performance group that emphasizes scenario-based audience participation as part of their presentations on SAPR and other social issues. The scenarios compel audience members to make decisions based on what is happening, motivating people to see all sides of a given situation and to educate them from their experience.

"It was quite engaging," said Kathy Vail, the Family Service Office director for Navy Region Singapore. "It's up to all of us to watch out for each other, civilian and military alike, and I think this kind of training helps us to be more sensitive to that."

The traveling performance group's charter is to use their acting talents to increase awareness and understanding of critical social issues such as sexual assault prevention, domestic violence, bystander intervention, and sexual harassment. Navy Counselor First Class Rhonda Aubert, assigned to Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific, described the Pure Praxis performance as educational and unique from SAPR training she has attended in the past.

"It was interesting to see how the people from the audience reacted with the scenario," Aubert said. "I think overall it was extremely beneficial in making everyone more confident if they find themselves in a similar situation."

Pure Praxis performs at military installations around the world; however, this was their first opportunity to train with Sailors in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

"It's been really great being able to come out here and perform," said Cortez Johnson, one of the Pure Praxis members. "I've never been out to this part of the world. Being able to come out here and help Sailors with SAPR awareness and training is a real honor."

The Pure Praxis performance coincided with the visit to Singapore by Ms. Jill Loftus, Director, Department of the Navy Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (DON SAPRO). She serves as the Secretary of the Navy's principal point of accountability for all sexual assault policy matters and as the primary resource for expert SAPR assessment, program support and oversight. Loftus attended the Pure Praxis performance and met with Navy Region Singapore leaders to discuss the Navy's latest SAPR initiatives.

"People think they know what they would do if someone needed help, but you never really know until you're there, until it's happening to you," said Aubert. "Everyone needs to be ready to stand up and help if something is wrong, and this training is such an important motivator for that kind of positive action." 
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