'It's On Us' Week Of Action Aims To Raise Awareness Of College Sexual Assault

White House-Sponsored Week Of Action Aims To Raise Awareness Of College Sexual Assault

The White House's campaign against college sexual assault will launch a "Week of Action" on campuses nationwide on Monday, coordinated by the progressive interest group Generation Progress.

The "It's On Us" campaign was launched by the White House in September. The campaign aims to get students -- especially men -- to make an effort to prevent sexual violence by changing their own attitudes and intervening in risky situations.

The week of activism comes on the heels of a new White House Public Service Announcement, which was released on Nov. 13. The PSA calls on men to practice bystander intervention, which refers to noticing when a sexual assault is about to occur and stepping in to stop it.

"The Week of Action is building on the momentum from this fall and getting more people involved so we can include them next year and in the spring," said Kristin Avery, who is managing the It's On Us campaign at Generation Progress. "Our goal is to really spark as many conversations as we can."

Generation Progress said that it has planned at least 150 events in 35 states, ranging from holding round-table discussions about sexual violence to collecting signatures for the It's On Us pledge, a commitment to helping stop sexual assault on campus. The group hopes that the Week of Action will get more people in college to sign the pledge.

Northern Illinois University, for example, will have self-defense and bystander intervention training, and events discussing what it's like to be a survivor. The school will also screen a student-filmed documentary about sexual assault, called "Red Blooded Men":

At least 40 colleges and universities have also created their own It's On Us PSAs, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University and UCLA.

Some universities have specifically highlighted Greek life in their promotional materials, like George Washington University:

The fraternities Pi Kappa Alpha and Tau Kappa Epsilon have signed on as sponsors of the It's On Us Campaign. Generation Progress officials said the fraternities actually reached out to them, looking to get involved. Pi Kappa Alpha, often referred to as Pike, is also providing each of its chapters with an educational program, entitled "Taking a Stand: Preventing Sexual Assault on Campus," during the current academic year.

The NCAA is another sponsor of the Week of Action.

Generation Progress used regional staffers and coordinated with the National Collegiate Leadership Conference to organize the effort on campuses around the country. The White House announced when It's On Us was launched in September that student leaders from 233 campuses had signed up to endorse the campaign.

Before You Go

Popular in the Community