The It’s On Us campaign was launched by President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in 2014, as an initiative to address and help end rape culture across college campuses.
Rape culture is defined as “An environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and popular culture. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.”- Marshall University
However, the campaign is more recently making headlines for its provocative PSA targeted towards college students. The most recent move of their campaign initiative focuses on a text conversation simulation amongst two male college students. The video was released on March 28 by Biden, who tweeted out “The correct word for sex without consent is rape. Period. #ItsOnUs to know the signs and to stop it” along with the link to the video, which you can find here, at this link.
The video shows how rape culture has sadly become a normalized thing on college campuses, where people completely disregard their actions to women (and men) alike.
The 30-second video emphasizes how what seems to be a “normal” conversation amongst two friends can be seen to actually highlight rape culture. The texts the men are sending to each other are shown in their original context as well as with the true interpretation of their messages.
The campaign’s video seeks to open up the eyes of anyone who may not have been aware of rape culture, and to encourage them to change their ways. The It’s On Us website has provided plenty of resources to educate college students to know how to identify rape culture, how to prevent it and what to do in the event of sexual assault.
Common words that are sadly used and mistreated by the men include “encourage” instead of force, “ getting into it” meaning worried and “a good time”- rape.
Given that statistically, nearly 1 out of 4 college women will be sexually abused or raped by the time they graduate college, the campaign urges visitors of the site to take a pledge. Without taking the pledge, the website will not grant its visitors access.
Some tips include:
Don’t just be a bystander- If you see something intervene in any way you can
If you see someone who is too intoxicated to consent, enlist their friends to help them leave safely.
Understand that if someone does not, or cannot consent to sex- it’s rape.
These are just a few of the 17 tips provided on the website; the last tip concludes with a list of services for victims including notalone.gov and the National Sexual Assault Hotline 1.800.656.HOPE
The campaign has teamed up with RAINN- the largest anti-sexual violence organization, to provide the video.