Rutgers University SCREAM Theater Presentation: A Sexual Violence Prevention Program at the University of Florida

SCREAM (Students Challenging Realities and Educating Against Myths)
Theater is a peer education improvisational theater group associated with the Office for Violence
Prevention and Victim Assistance at Rutgers University. They use interactive, educational skits
to educate audiences on issues of interpersonal violence, specifically on sexual assault,
domestic and dating violence, stalking, sexual harassment, and bullying.

SCREAM has performed at Rutgers University for several years as part of Rutgers new
student orientation programs as well as Greek Life events. The issue of interpersonal violence
is presented in a realistic manner in order to start an honest conversation with audience
members. In order to maintain that sense of realism, the language and actions in the skits are
harsh.

Rita Lawrence, Coordinator for UF’s interpersonal violence prevention peer education
group, STRIVE at GatorWell, states, “SCREAM is an incredibly creative opportunity to learn and
practice this new behavior of intervening that is so in the forefront of national efforts to prevent
sexual and all interpersonal violence on campuses. Students may think there is nothing they
personally can do to make a difference, and SCREAM is here to say change occurs only when
each of us realizes that WE are the answer. Chances are high that you know and love someone
touched by violence. For their sake, make the effort to get to SCREAM.”
This year the Gator Wesley Foundation, in cooperation with the Campus Multi-Faith
Cooperative, UF Intercultural Engagement, Dean of Students Office/Student Conduct and
Conflict Resolution, and Gator Well/STRIVE are pleased to bring this program to the University
of Florida Campus.

The program includes a 15-30 minute skit, followed by a question and answer session
while the actors remain “in character.” The goal is for the audience members to challenge the
actors on their behaviors and encourage the audience to then question their own beliefs on
interpersonal violence. The performers then come “out of character” to continue the discussion.
"The best part about my job is being able to interact with students who have never been
able to have an honest discussion on the issue of sexual assault. I think it is so important to
begin that conversation as soon as we can so that we can create a community that does not
tolerate violence and will stand up to challenge wrongful behaviors,” said Brady Root, Prevention
Education Coordinator for the Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance at Rutgers,
The State University of New Jersey.

The evening will conclude with members of the University of Florida community providing
information on local resources that are available to assist anyone who may be the victim of
interpersonal violence, as well as an emphasis on bystander intervention.

University Auditorium on UF Campus
333 Newell Drive
Gainesville, FL
Thursday, August 28th, 2014
8 p.m.

The program is FREE and open to everyone.

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