The Outrage educates students about teen dating and abuse

Students learned about the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships as well as sexual assault through The Outrage today.


Ankit Kadakia

Members of The Outrage

Sarah Hirsch and Ankit Kadakia

The Outrage, an educational theatre performance piece about teen dating violence and sexual assault, was performed in the PAC today. The program is run by Safehome, a Johnson County program that provides shelter for abused women and children, counseling and many other services. Students from high school districts including Blue Valley, Shawnee Mission, Olathe, and De Soto participate in this performance.

“One of my friends who’s not in this anymore told me about The Outrage because she knew I had a personal experience with someone I was really close with who was in an unhealthy relationship,” member junior Lindsay Somberg said. “She thought that this would be a good way for us to get the message out there and start doing something to prevent abuse.”

The performance includes statistics about dating violence and sexual assault, simulated situations and a question and answer session. Peer-to-peer educator Monica Phinney said the audience seemed perceptive during the performance today, especially with all the changes the program has undergone this year.

“With every performance, there’s going to be people who laugh because they don’t know what to do,” Phinney said. “That’s what we do when we’re uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean that [the students] don’t hear the messages and don’t take them seriously. We tend to get a good response especially from high schoolers when we come back to do talk backs and they’re very interested in the topics.”

Junior Sara Jenab said she liked how the program had changed the script from the previous performances she had previously seen to incorporate more facts about males.

“I thought that [the performance] was very well choreographed and I was very impressed by all the memorization that the actors had done for all the statistics,” Jenab said. “The best part of the performance was how they made the audience stand up for the statistics because it was so visually shocking.”

The Outrage members will return on March 27 to answer questions that students submit anonymously and discuss various aspects of unhealthy relationships. Phinney said she hopes students will take an interest in the program and join next year.

“My favorite part [of The Outrage] is meeting other kids who feel as passionate about this as I do, because it’s a topic that we normally don’t talk about as much,” Somberg said. “It’s something so behind closed doors usually.”

More information about The Outrage can be found here.