The White House’s It’s On Us campaign just released a new PSA with a focus on consent. President Obama and Vice President Biden launched the campaign in 2014 when they made stopping sexual violence a national priority. With the help of a long list of celebrities, the powerful It’s On Us message is getting the attention of young people and college administrators alike.
The effort is the result of a partnership between the Administration and Generation Progress, which works with young people to promote solutions to social issues. The first year of It’s On Us saw events at more than 300 campuses, 200 personalized school PSAs, and over 200,000 people taking the It’s On Us pledge to keep women and men safe from sexual assault. The White House and Generation Progress team plans to expand efforts and grow participation in the second year as it engages students in campus actions.
As It’s On Us launched its second PSA to coincide with back-to-school time, it’s creating a terrific opportunity for students to affect efforts to stop campus sexual violence. Based on the idea that young people don’t have to wait to change the world, Generation Progress is organizing a Weekend of Action in September and a Week of Action in early November. College and university It’s On Us chapters will include pledge drives and Twitter chats in conjunction with their activities.
Parents should encourage their daughters and sons to get involved and be part of the solution by joining a student group like It’s On Us. This is one tool parents can use to make students safer from sexual assault and to begin changing the culture that breeds today’s prevalence of sexual assault.
Insights into campus sexual assault are getting better. Many colleges are collecting data, some are creating research-based solutions, and information about what works to stop campus sexual violence continues to be refined. Currently, there is no research that indicates a student working as an activist with an organization like It’s On Us is less likely to be sexually assaulted than those who are not. Our hope at Keep Her Safe is that someone will formally study this.
However, it’s fair to assume that students actively participating in a campus sexual assault organization like It’s On Us are more informed about preventing campus sexual assault than the student body as a whole, and can have a positive impact on making their campuses safer.