POLITICS

New White House PSA Is A Reminder: Sex Without Consent Is Rape

Zoe Saldana, HAIM, John Cho and Josh Hutcherson are among the celebrities in the latest video.

The White House unveiled a new public service announcement Tuesday ahead of the one-year anniversary of the launch of the anti-sexual assault campaign "It's On Us."

The new PSA, called "One Thing," focuses on the importance of consent. It features Zoe Saldana, Josh Hutcherson and members of the band HAIM, among other celebrities. Its message is simple: Without consent, sex isn't sex. It's rape.

The White House said Tuesday that It's On Us campaigns have started at more than 300 schools, and that 220,000 people have taken the pledge to end sexual assault on college campuses. The Obama administration launched the initiative last September following the creation of a task force to address college sexual assault.

It's On Us, run with the help of the liberal advocacy group Generation Progress, now has 90 organizational partners, the White House said. 

While the White House task force has laid out policy proposals and described the steps it would like higher education institutions to take, It's On Us is an attempt to change culture. 

"We've encouraged every college campus to come up with their own campaigns," Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, told HuffPost Live last week. She said the PSAs are rolling out in September in an effort to reach students in the "Red Zone" -- the six-week period after the start of classes when female students are the most likely to experience sexual violence. 

"As they're coming onto college campuses, we want to use that to highlight awareness of this issue," Jarrett said.

This fall also marks the beginning of the first academic year that colleges must fully comply with the Campus SaVE Act, a portion of the latest Violence Against Women Reauthorization. The Campus SaVE provision requires additional educational training for administrators and students about sexual assault, and requires schools to keep track of domestic violence and stalking in addition to rape and other crimes. 

Tyler Kingkade covers higher education and sexual violence, and is based in New York. You can contact him at tyler.kingkade@huffingtonpost.com, or on Twitter: @tylerkingkade.

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