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It’s on Us campaign pledges to stop campus sexual assault

October 17, 2014

The “It’s on Us” campaign and pledge is a national campaign to stop sexual assault on college campuses.

Across the U.S., according to the Center of Disease Control, one in five women and one in 71 men reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives.

The It’s on Us pledge is at itsonus.org/#pledge. When you take it, you pledge 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; and to CREATE an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

A lot of people are involved in this campaign, including the UW-River Falls campus through Student Senate. Not only are the survivors and their supporters involved, but also are so many other people, including heads of universities, the White House, celebrities, athletes, and a lot of other organizations and everyday people.

Joining Americans across the country and Vice President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama launched the campaign on Sept. 19, 2014. The main goal for the campaign is to make people aware of sexual assault, and is in an effort to put an end to campus sexual assaults.

Student Senate is working on bringing this campaign to UWRF. President Anthony Sumnicht was in charge of bringing the campaign to the Senate.

“The White House campaign contacted the president’s of campuses across the nation, and Tony brought it up to the executive board and said that we should get involved in this and make it a discussion on campus and get more students involved in it,” said Student Senate Vice President Shelby Hehr.

They participated in a conference call with the White House, along with hundreds of other student leaders, including student government, Greek, and athletics from around the country. Student Senate is working on planning multiple events that are going to relate to the campaign.

“We made a video, we’re having a kick off on the 20th of October,” Hehr said. “We are having a campus roundtable discussion, and having more speakers come to campus and talk about sexual assault.”

Student Affairs Committee Chair Riley Haynes is in charge of the events that go along with the campaign.

“One of the goals that I really have for this project is there is a pledge that with the It’s on Us campaign, a pledge to step in when you see a situation that might occur and might result in sexual assault,” Haynes said. “And I would like to turn it into a kind of ice bucket challenge sort of thing where it really goes viral and everyone makes a video of themselves taking that pledge and challenges their friends and family to also take that pledge.”

The It’s on Us website also has 13 tips for people to use to become part of the solution to end sexual assaults on campus.

Talk to your friends honestly and openly about sexual assault, don’t just be a bystander. If you see something, intervene in any way you can, trust your gut. If something looks like it might be a bad situation, it probably is; be direct.

Ask someone who looks like they may need help if they’re OK, get someone to help you if you see something. Keep an eye on someone who has had too much to drink. If you see someone who is too intoxicated to consent, enlist their friends to help them leave safely.

Recognize the potential danger of someone who talks about planning to target another person at a party, and be aware if someone is deliberately trying to intoxicate, isolate, or corner someone else.

Get in the way by creating a distraction, drawing attention to the situation, or separating them. Understand that if someone does not or cannot consent to sex, it’s rape; never blame the victim.

If you are a victim or survivor, or helping someone in that situation, go to notalone. com to get the resources and information you need. The National Sexual Assault Hotline is 1-800-656-HOPE.