In an interactive, funny and heartwarming performance on Feb. 7, Mike Domitrz discussed the importance of taking action to prevent sexual assaults and the significance of asking others “Can I Kiss You?”
Beginning by asking the audience if they would ask someone if they can kiss them or simply “go for it,” Domitrz, the enthusiastic and comical speaker of this event, kicked off the show by immediately integrating the audience and grasping their attention.
He had two volunteers come onto the stage in the Villanova Room in Connelly Center and act out two people on a date to determine when the right time is to kiss someone. The demonstration by the two students led into a discussion of the common misinterpretation of body signals and the consequences that result from that.
Domitrz did a good job of combining enthusiasm and humor with educational and serious facts about the importance of prevention and awareness of sexual assaults and rape. Not only did Domitrz grab the audience’s attention in his presentation, but he also inspired students to take action.
He encouraged the audience to get involved with his questions and truly reflect on the right and wrong things to do in certain situations when people could be taken advantage of, especially in situations when alcohol is involved.
Throughout his presentation, he used an example of two hypothetical people at a party where one was taking advantage of the other and asked how the audience would typically respond to a similar situation like this one. A question Domitrz raised throughout the performance was regarding the reasons people often do not get involved in certain situations that they know may not end well.
He characterized the major reason and hindrance as fear something he also referred to as the “bystander effect.” People are afraid to get involved or take action for fear of embarrassment, confrontation or multiple other reasons, which is why they stand back and stay quiet.
Domitrz discussed people’s need to have a personal connection in order to take action, which he believes is hypocritical. The presentation stressed the need to take action, regardless of whether one feels personally connected with these scenarios or not. People should not wait for something horrible to happen to begin caring about it, and should, instead, care about it before something horrible happens.
He encouraged the members of the audience to begin to take action by calling three friends or loved ones following the show and promising to be a source of support in the face of sexual assault.
This first step, although seemingly small, can really help others and make a significant difference in someone’s life. Domitrz characterized this first step in being proactive as “opening the door” and reinforced the impact this can have on one’s life. Simply knowing a friend or family member has your support and is there to listen, no matter what the situation, makes it that much easier to open up rather than hold in their painful experiences.
Domitrz opened up the discussion on taking action with a personal story that led him to dedicate his life to spreading awareness about sexual assault and rape.
When Domitrz was a freshman in college, he received a call from his mother saying that his older sister had been raped. Ever since hearing those horrifying words, Domitrz decided to divert his rage and anger to positive actions that could help prevent future episodes of sexual assault and rape. Domitrz was able to make a difference and spread the word about asking before acting.
Domitrz reinforced the idea of using words over actions in intimacy and making the other person feel comfortable and respected in all situations.
The concept of asking was the key component of this presentation and was an easy way for Domitrz to explain to the audience the preventable nature of these circumstances.
Not only did Domitrz have an excellent presentation and get the audience fully involved in all aspects—from having volunteers act on stage to constantly asking the audience questions so they could all collectively shout out answers—but he also allowed each audience member access to an e-book and audio book about the stories of 12 survivors of sexual assault.
Domitrz said he cares about this cause and wants everyone to get involved and be aware, and his uplifting and engaging performance definitely left students with more knowledge on the subject and a more eager attitude to take action.