It’s On Us. ~Kristine
Exciting News! The It’s On Us campaign turned 1 year old last month! For those of you who are unaware of “It’s On Us,” allow us to share some information on the campaign.
Not too long ago, sexual violence was a topic that nobody spoke about. It’s on Us is a campaign created by the U.S. government which centers on the topic itself by specifically targeting colleges and universities. It has taken a few years to reach this high point of the campaign, but all the efforts it took have really paid off.
In April 2011, Vice President Joe Biden and the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, introduced comprehensive guidance to help colleges and universities nationwide better understand their obligations under federal civil rights laws to prevent and respond to sexual assault on campus.
In early 2014, President Obama established a task force to protect students from sexual violence. In April of 2014, this same task force launched the 1is2many PSA, which you can watch at this link: 1 is 2 many PSA
I can remember watching this PSA when it was released and crying. I cried because when my own assault happened to me eleven years ago, I made a judgement call to get into a car with an acquaintance, leaving my friends behind. Simply because I knew this person, I thought I was safe, and so did my friends. The main message of the PSA for It’s on Us, came across so powerfully by illustrating the point that we all need to watch out for each other. The night of my own assault, my friends were watching out for me. The difference was that we all thought I was safe with this person, and in turn I wasn’t. I also appreciated seeing a group of men be so vocal on how sexual violence is a crime no matter what. Without consent, it simply doesn’t matter.
It’s on Us also released a report, around the same time, that goes over tips for how schools, teachers and students can better understand and equip themselves with the right information to overcome this issue.
The report included action steps, recommendations, and best practices in four key areas:
(1) Identifying the scope of the problem through campus climate surveys (2) Preventing campus sexual assault and engaging men (3) Helping schools respond effectively when a student is assaulted (4) Improving, and making more transparent, the federal government’s enforcement efforts
The campaign seeks to engage college students and all members of campus communities by preventing sexual assault in the first place. It’s on Us was launched in partnership with the Center for American Progress’ Generation Progress, along with student body leadership from nearly 200 colleges and universities across the country, collegiate sports organizations such as the NCAA, and private companies that have strong connections with students at colleges and universities.
It’s On Us aims to fundamentally shift the way we think about sexual assault, by inspiring everyone to see it as their responsibility to do something, big or small, to prevent it. The campaign reflects the belief that sexual assault isn’t just an issue involving a crime committed by a perpetrator against a victim, but one in which the rest of us also have a role to play. We are committed to creating an environment – be it a dorm room, a party, a bar or club, or the greater college campus – where sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported. This effort will support student-led efforts already underway across the country, and will focus particularly on motivating college men to get involved. (via http://www.whitehouse.gov)
The campaign, which can be found at itsonus.org, has asked individuals to take the pledge. This pledge is a personal commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault. It is a promise not to be a bystander to the problem, but to be a part of the solution. When one pledges they must follow the four criteria:
To RECOGNIZE that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.
To IDENTIFY situations in which sexual assault may occur.
To INTERVENE in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.
To CREATE an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.
It’s on Us has partnered with many celebrities and individuals to create PSA, and show their support for It’s on Us. You can check a few out below.
So most of this was over a year ago…what is the campaign up to on it’s year anniversary?
Well they just released their new PSA called, “The One Thing” which you can view here: The One Thing
Here are some Highlights from the first year of “It’s On Us”:
On September 19, 2014, President Obama and Vice President Biden unveiled “It’s On Us,” in partnership with Generation Progress at the Center for American Progress. “It’s On Us” recognizes that the solution to sexual assault begins with all of us. It seeks to reframe the conversation surrounding sexual assault in a way that inspires everyone to see it as his or her responsibility to do something, big or small, to prevent it.
In the last year alone, students have launched “It’s On Us”campaigns at over 300 schools and have hosted more than 650 “It’s On Us” events.
Since the launch of “It’s On Us” last September, almost 220,000 people have taken the pledge to end sexual assault on college campuses; “It’s On Us” PSAs have had over 10 million views online and campaign has generated over 3 billion media impressions.
“It’s On Us” now has over 90 partners including media, sports leagues and conferences, sexual assault prevention organizations, non-profit organizations, and corporations.
Ok so now that I filled you with facts on this campaign, here is what it comes down to: bystander invention. Bystander intervention involves developing the awareness, skills, and courage needed to intervene in a situation when another individual needs help. Bystander intervention allows individuals to send powerful messages about what is acceptable and expected behavior in our community.
Check out this video from the TV what would you do……it shows a young girl, drunk, at a bar and a man who approaches her and tries to take her to his hotel. Watch what the people around her do. What would you do – Bystander Intervention
Want to help? Want to take the step to change rape culture, because it is ON US. Take the pledge. at It’s on US.
Continue to spread the Word.