Jon Hamm, Joel McHale, Dragon Age, And More Speak Out Against Sexual Assault On College Campuses
It's on us.
It’s On Us is the White House’s new “public awareness and action campaign designed to prevent sexual assault at colleges and universities,” and it has some pretty big-name entertainment and gaming supporters behind it. Way to go, guys. We like you all a lot.
In January, President Obama established the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault – which is a very good thing, because the number of Title IX complaints about college handling of sexual assault cases from the first half of 2014 already equal the entire number of complaints from 2013. The White House has already released a series of recommendations to colleges on how they can make changes, and now they’re giving the public a set of tools and tips that we can use to help stop sexual assault.
If you head over to ItsOnUs.Org, you can view a series of “tools,” or talking points, that could help eliminate sexual assault, like “Be aware if someone is trying to intoxicate, isolate, or corner someone else.” The site also offers a pledge that you can take to be a part of stopping sexual assault against men and women (you know, besides “don’t sexually assault people,” which is clearly the number one way to stop sexual assault, but sadly that message obviously does not get through to everybody):
- 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.
Partners of the It’s On Us initiative include BET, College Humor, EA, MTV, Tumblr, and more. Sexual assault can come in many different forms (including verbal); and I’m particularly impressed, given the recent goings-on in gaming culture, to see that the folks at BioWare’s Dragon Age have taken a loud and unapologetic supportive stance to fighting assault.
Other supporters include celebs like Jon Hamm, Joel McHale, Kerry Washington, and more, who star in this PSA with great messages like “don’t victim-blame” and “non-consensual sex is rape.” Preach it to the heavens.
If you want to show your public support for It’s On Us, you can take the pledge and get your own profile photo made right here. I wish I could say stopping sexual assault was as easy as “tell people not to sexually assault,” but we all know the world is tragically not that simple (and I say this as one of the nearly 20% of women who experiences sexual assault or attempted sexual assault in college). It’s great to see the White House, and influential figures in entertainment and gaming, speak out about such an important issue; and I hope this campaign helps in some way to stop sexual assault – on college campuses and elsewhere.
(via Rebecca Rentz and Jezebel)