Let’s kick sexual assault in the face

Calling all heroes: it’s time to stop sexual harassment right in its vile tracks. I’m not talking to Batman here, guys. It’s up to all of us to prevent campus attacks. That’s the message the White House’s new project is trying to get across. The program is called, “It’s On Us,” and its goal is to stop sexual assault, primarily on college campuses.

Although the campaign is less than a month old, it has an already established website full of very informative content. When entering itsonus.org, you’re given the freedom to either scroll and view the material or use the top menu, which includes: Take the Pledge, Watch the Videos, Get the Tools, Meet the Partners, and Donate.

Take the pledge! Graphic from Kezi
Take the pledge! Graphic from Kezi

When choosing to scroll down, we’re met with the pledge. The pledge asks visitors of the website to pay attention to their surroundings to prevent incidents of sexual assault. Not only can you take the pledge to join the cause, but there’s an option to show your support through advertising. To do this, simply take the pledge by filling out some optional information about yourself (kind of like filling out a petition) and transform your profile picture on Facebook or Twitter into an “It’s On Us,” badge.

Playing the advertisement for the cause in the video section of the website will give you a bit more insight. The video is about thirty seconds long and includes celebrity endorsements from actors like Joel McHale and others. At the end, Obama makes his appearance. Not only is the Hollywood crowd promoting this, but there are dozens of partners as well such as iHeart Media, MTV, tumblr, etc.

The website also provides safety tips under the “Tools” section. These also include additional resources: notalone.gov and the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-HOPE). These tools are meant to help any victims of sexual assault crimes. You can also use “#ItsOnUs” to participate in the conversation on twitter.

While staying vigilant to help others, don’t forget that there are many resources to keep us heroes safe on campus too. The RU police department is available 24 hours a day, so don’t be afraid to ask for their help. If you’re feeling unsafe use the police escort service and have a cop walk you to your car (540-831-5500). If your cell phone is out of juice, don’t worry. There are blue emergency telephones located in many outdoor locations around the campus.