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Healthy dating, sexual assault awareness discussed with teens

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Eydie Sakura
  • USAFE Public Affairs
Department of Defense Dependents Schools high school-aged students, parents and staff members are invited to attend the "Can I Kiss You?" program touring U.S. Air Forces in Europe high schools March 22 to April 2.

The USAFE sexual assault response coordinator and school liaison officer program officials are sponsoring a guest speaker to engage students about healthy dating and sexual assault awareness.

"Students will learn successful ways to handle uncomfortable dating situations and how to keep themselves safe," said Stacey Crosson, the USAFE school liaison officer. "The (tour) is intended to help parents and students learn how to better communicate and navigate the sometimes very uncomfortable and touchy issues of dating and sex; and for students, instead of 'learning as you go' and 'trying to figure things out on your own or with a friend's input,' they will hear and learn from an expert on ways that actually work when communicating dating boundaries."

Mike Domitrz, the guest speaker of "Can I Kiss You?," uses humor to talk about tough topics and he travels the around world educating young adults on dating boundaries and preventing sexual assault.

"The speaker has consistently informed, educated and positively influenced audiences for 20 years, and his delivery is so motivating and convincing that participants leave wanting to have respectful, honest relationships with their dates," said Dr. Tom Appel-Schumacher, the USAFE sexual assault prevention and response chief. "Maybe if we reach the younger people, they will be better able to understand the importance of consent in a physical relationship and be in a better position to take care of themselves or teach others how to be respectful."

Dr. Appel-Schumacher said he hopes parents will learn how to talk comfortably with their children about dating and to keep them safe. He also said he wants the teachers and staff to learn ways of reinforcing the messages about people being respectful of others, especially in the area of relationships and dating.

There will be sessions for students as well as adults, teaching each group how to discuss these topics with each other.

"The parent-student evening will be a very special time for families," said Ms. Crosson. "It will provide families a chance to laugh together, think through tough situations together, and hopefully go home and talk more with each other about dating and relationships. The format for the sessions will be interactive, intimate and fun, an evening no one will want to miss!"