ARCC students learn to ask before acting

May I kiss you?

It’s a simple question, but one many are afraid to ask when approaching an intimate situation.

Nationally-renowned author and expert Mike Domitrz shared keys to handling intimacy with Anoka-Ramsey Community College students. Photo by Kelly Johnson

Nationally-renowned author and expert Mike Domitrz shared keys to handling intimacy with Anoka-Ramsey Community College students. Photo by Kelly Johnson

But that’s just the question Mike Domitrz encouraged Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Coon Rapids, students to ask during a pair of presentations on campus Monday.

Domitrz is a nationally-renowned author and expert on dating and relationships.

He has authored “May I Kiss You,” a book used as a model by people of all ages around the world. His DVD, “Help! My Teen is Dating” is endorsed by educators, parents and professionals worldwide.

Domitrz’s fun and interactive presentations presented volunteers acting out dating scenes, with Domitrz providing answers on what is the right way to handle otherwise awkward or uncomfortable situations.

“Why don’t we just ask for what we want when it comes to intimacy,” he said.

Domitrz encouraged students to ask the question rather than to depend on a look or feeling to determine how far to go.

In addition to asking the question, the person doing the asking must also be willing to respect the answer, especially if it’s no, Domitrz said.

“Giving our partners a choice by asking them is the right thing to do,” he said.

Domitrz also talked about ways bystanders can prevent possible rape situations by getting involved.

“Fear is the only thing that stops us from doing the right things in our lives,” Domitrz said.

“You never regret doing the right thing.”

The presentations by Domitrz were part of a larger Green Dot initiative by Anoka-Ramsey counselors.

Green Dot is a prevention program focused on empowering bystanders to become active members in reducing power-based personal violence (PBPV) where they live, work and attend school.

PBPV is a form of violence in which the primary motivator is the assertion of power, control and-or intimidation in order to harm another, according to the Anoka-Ramsey website.

It includes partner violence, sexual assault, stalking or other uses of force, threat, intimidation or harassment of an individual.

According to results of a 2009 student survey at the college, one in four ARCC students have experienced sexual assault in their lifetime and more than one in three have experienced domestic violence.

ARCC students are encouraged to attend the free Green Dot training to learn how to respond safely to an incident of power-based personal violence and help create a culture on campus where everyone feels safe and welcomed.

For more information about the Green Dot program, call 763-433-1240 or 763-433-1319 or visit www.anokaramsey.edu/greendot. For more information about Domitrz, visit www.datesafeproject.org or www.doyouask.com.

Kelly Johnson is at kelly.johnson@ecm-inc.com


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