BARKSDALE AFB, LA (KSLA) - A group of airmen dedicates their time year-round to educate others about the importance of speaking up when it comes to sexual assault.
Since 2014, Barksdale's Sexual Assault Theater Group has turned awareness training into an interactive theater.
The SATG idea came to life in 2012 on Air Force bases in Japan and Korea. Two of those airmen then moved to Barksdale and came together to start the group in Shreveport-Bossier.
"It's in your face, it's not death by PowerPoint, it's not someone just talking," explained SSgt Randi Sologaistoa. "You're seeing what's going on, you're feeling what's happening and it's very real, and that feeling that these members are feeling is really what captures them."
In 2017, the group performed for more than 26,000 people.
"I love helping people that's my motivation for doing this," said SSgt Exzavior Webb, who has been part of the group for two years. He's just one of nearly a dozen airmen who volunteer their time to raise awareness outside of their normal duties.
SSgt Webb hopes the audience knows they're not alone.
"People have been through it before, it's happened to other people whether it's the exact same scenario, or something close, we have things in place that can help you out if you are hurting inside," SSgt Webb said.
The group shares prevention and response messages for a range of topics from sexual assault, to suicide, workplace violence and beyond.
"A lot of people know about it, but not a lot of people want to talk about it, and that is the real issue," SSgt Sologaistoa said. "I think talking about it and bringing that awareness to the forefront is really how we're going to be able to help our airmen and our brothers and sisters around us."
The group also performs for local colleges and other businesses within the surrounding community.
"Knowledge is power, so we're giving that to you and getting you in by capturing you with that feeling and wanting you to learn more," SST Sologaistoa said.
The Barksdale group hopes their concept will catch on Air Force-wide.