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The Daily Wildcat


Lecture aims to teach students sexual assault prevention, consent

Grace Pierson
Grace Pierson/ The Daily Wildcat Mike Dormitz gives a talk in the grand ballroom on consent, relationships, and intimacy on Tuesday.

Nearly 1,000 students gathered to listen to a nationally acclaimed speaker Tuesday evening, in a lecture about preventing sexual assault and the concept of consent.

Mike Domitrz, an educator, speaker and author, is the founder of The Date Safe Project, an organization that aims to raise awareness toward sexual assault and stress the importance of consent in any circumstance.

In his lecture, titled “Can I Kiss You?”, Domitrz used humor and crowd participation to emphasize his points, including bringing four students on stage to act out different scenarios.

“He did a good job of keeping the audience engaged and [was] appealing to everyone because he was energetic,” said Jamie Ryerson, a physiology freshman.

Despite all his jokes, Domitrz’s message was serious.

He pointed out that for all the names to potentially call a girl who got drunk and hooked up with a guy, there’s only one name for a guy who hooks up with a drunk girl: a rapist.

“Rape is definitely something that caught my ear,” said Gabe Kistner, a business sophomore, who felt that part of the lecture was the most significant.

About halfway through the event, the lecture took a more personal turn. Domitrz told the audience about a time when he received a phone call in college saying his older sister had been raped.

“One thing and only one thing went through my head,” Domitrz said. “It was a very simple and clear thought. I wanted him dead.”

Domitrz said he used this situation to make a point about helping others to avoid being raped and to spread his message.

“I could use my voice to try to make a difference about what happened to my sister,” he said.

He also gave the audience members a statement to consider any time they witness a scene that could turn to sexual assault.

“If that person was my best friend,” Domitrz said, “I know what I would do right now. Which means I know what I need to do right now.”

At the end of the lecture, Domitrz brought up the idea of asking for permission to kiss, also the title of the event. He told the audience that it doesn’t matter if it seems awkward, because giving someone a choice matters.

Domitrz said if there’s one thing he hopes students take away from this event, it’s two words: ask first.

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