Mission: To increase understanding and recognition that non-consensual sex is sexual assault; help the public identify situations in which sexual assault may occur; intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given; and create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.
Background: An estimated one in five women will experience sexual assault during her college years, but only twelve percent of those assaults will be reported, and, of those cases, only a fraction will result in an offender being sentenced. Referencing this data in 2014 at the launch of It's On Us — an awareness campaign established by the White House in partnership with Civic Nation that works to put an end to sexual assault on college campuses — President Obama said, "It is on all of us to reject the quiet tolerance of sexual assault and to refuse to accept what’s unacceptable." The campaign asks both men and women to make a personal commitment to being part of the solution to end sexual assault on campus. To that end, the campaign sends informational materials to every school district, college, and university that receives federal funding about their legal obligations to prevent and respond to sexual assault; created a White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault to work with colleges and universities on developing best practices on how to respond and prevent sexual assault; and reviews existing laws to make sure they adequately protect victims of sexual assault.
Outstanding Web Features: Since its inception, It's On Us has launched campaigns at more than three hundred schools in the U.S. and has hosted more than six hundred and fifty "It's On Us” events. A multimedia mix of information, video, celebrity testimonials, and a direct call-to-action, the It's On Us website asks visitors to take a pledge to identify and safely intervene in situations where potential victims are vulnerable to sexual assault (called "bystander intervention"). Since its launch, more than 375,000 people have signed the pledge, including celebrities Jon Hamm, Zoe Saldana and feminist Matt McGorry, who are featured in a video on the site that serves as a direct marketing tool and has generated several PSA spots for television and the Web. For visitors who are unclear about what the "bystander effect" is — a reluctance, according to social psychologists, to intervene in potentially dangerous situations — the site offers a tips-based tool kit on how to recognize sexual assault and act on behalf of its victims. The site also offers a guide for those looking to organize a campaign on their own campuses; a dedicated Tumblr page with information about the many ways in which the campaign's campus partners are getting involved; and information on more than ninety other partners. Visitors to the site can also make a personal video about their experiences with sexual assault; download the It's On Us logo for use at their own events; get information about other ways to "spread the word"; and/or keep up with the latest news and information via the organization's Facebook page or Twitter feed.