By Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest
SILVERDALE, Wash. – Members of the live performance group “No Zebras and More” performed on naval installations in Navy Region Northwest, August 19-25.
No Zebras and More is a group that works to dismiss myths about sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking and harassment, and to provide their audience with tools to become an active bystander.
“This training is extremely critical for Sailors, and the fact that it isn’t PowerPoint-driven makes it so much more effective in today’s Navy, said Nicki Hayford, sexual assault, prevention and response (SAPR) victim advocate for NBK.
“We are constantly trying to make the content more interesting and as real as possible,” said Hayford. “The more real it is the more Sailors will be able to relate and take information away and actually retain and apply what they have learned.”
Commander, Navy Installations Command set up the performances more than a year ago on Naval Bases Kitsap (NBK) Bangor and Bremerton, Naval Station Everett, and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. No Zebras and More also held private performances for the Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and the Marines assigned to Marine Corps Security Force Battalion Bangor.
“This was our fourth presentation that has been done so far this year and after every performance I ask at least 10 Sailors what did they think,” said Hayford. “Almost unanimously the responses have been this is the best training they have gotten in SAPR in their careers.”
The show “No Zebras, No Excuses,” focuses on bystander intervention and is designed to educate the audience on what the issues are and how to recognize them and how to intervene as a bystander.
Danny Inman, a “No Zebras, No Excuses,” performer and SAPR victim advocate said that the show originated as a freshman orientation program at Central Michigan University in 1997. They started to get involved with the DoD and the DoN two years ago in order to raise awareness among service members.
“Back when we first started to work with the DoD and the Navy there weren’t very many stand downs on the issue of sexual assault,” said Inman. “But the Navy particularly in recent years seems to have really taken the bull by the horns and led the way on trying to change things, to help prevent and even stop sexual assault.”
The performance is designed as a series of skits pitting the performers in different scenarios to educate the audience on what should have or could have been done to prevent people from getting hurt or sexually assaulted.
“It’s good for them to come here and show our Sailors a new and fresh take on a very important and serious topic,” said Electronics Technician 1st Class (SW) Tracy Rico, SAPR liaison for Naval Station Everett. “The presentation is especially targeted at the younger Sailors, as they are likely to encounter the same kinds of situation depicted in the performance as their career in the Navy continues.”
According to the No Zebras and More website, the program works to change the environment around perpetrators by showing people the impact of these issues, how perpetrators do it, and how to intervene in a pro-social way to change the outcome on behalf of survivors.
“This was a very powerful performance that really drove the message home,” said Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Deena Vanderhye, assigned to USS John C. Stennis. “The fact that the performers didn’t try to make the subject matter any lighter or heavier than it really is, just truthfully told it as it is, made it so much easier to relate to and understand.”
No Zebras and More has been a contract specialist for the DoN SAPR office since 2012.