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‘It’s On Us’ campaign works to end college campus sexual assault

April 29, 2015

The “It’s On Us” campaign is a national campaign to end sexual assault on college campuses. The campaign was nationally launched by President Barack Obama on Sept. 19, 2014, and the¬†UW-River Falls Student Senate launched its campaign on Oct. 20, 2014.

One of the big parts of the campaign has been the pledge. When you take the pledge that goes along with the “It’s On Us” campaign, 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.

“The ‘Its On Us’ campaign is a great initiative that has brought significant awareness of sexual assault to universities all across our country,” said Senate President Christopher Morgan. “As Senate president, I fully support this campaign and will do all I can to continue to advocate for this important issue.”

Since the launch, Senate has been hosting multiple events to raise awareness.

“Our student affairs committee put on a couple of events, one in the spring semester and one in the fall semester,” said former Student Affairs Committee Chair Riley Haynes.

The fall event was an expert panel. The spring semester event was aimed to give students tools and techniques to step in if they see something going on. The spring event was bingo.

In the coming years, Senate will continue to fight the issue of sexual assault on the UWRF campus.

“Senate considers sexual assault awareness and prevention to be a top priority,” Morgan said in an email interview. “Senate will continue to advocate for this issue as well as all issues that affect the safety and well-being of our student body.”

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

1) Talk to your friends honestly and openly about sexual assault.

2) Don’t just be a bystander–if you see something, intervene in any way you can.

3) Trust your gut. If something looks like it might be a bad situation, it probably is.

4) Be direct. Ask someone who looks like they may need help if they’re OK.

5) Get someone to help you if you see something–enlist a friend, Resident Assistant, bartender or host to help step in.

6) Keep an eye on someone who has had too much to drink.

7) If you see someone who is too intoxicated to consent, enlist their friends to help them leave safely.

8) Recognize the potential danger of someone who talks about planning to target another person at a party.

9) Be aware if someone is deliberately trying to intoxicate, isolate or corner someone else.

10) Get in the way by creating a distraction, drawing attention to the situation or separating them.

11) Understand that if someone doesn’t or cannot consent to sex, it’s rape.

12) Never blame the victim.

13) If you’re a victim or survivor or helping someone in that situation go to notalone.com to get the resources and information you need. You can also call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.

“Just keep spreading the word,” Haynes said.

To learn more about the campaign or to take the pledge and join the campaign go to itsonus.org.