Student Union and S.A.R.A.H. are proud to announce “It’s On Us, Wash U”: a campaign designed to spark conversation about sexual assault at Washington University and make a pledge to improve our campus culture. “It’s On Us, Wash U” makes Wash U a part of the White House’s “It’s On Us” campaign. The campaign was launched in September and aims to bring awareness to issues of sexual assault and rape on college campuses throughout the United States.
It is estimated that one in five college women and one in seventy-one college men experience attempted or completed sexual assault and rape. Nine out of ten survivors of sexual assault know the perpetrator, and 95 percent of incidents go unreported. The corresponding statistics at Wash U mirror those of colleges across the country.
“It’s On Us” invites everyone to step up and realize the solution begins with us. It aims to reframe conversations surrounding sexual assault in a way that inspires everyone to see it as their responsibility to do something to prevent it. The campaign has four main goals:
- To recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.
- To identify situations in which sexual assault may occur.
- To intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.
- To create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.
The White House has identified this week as the National Week of Action. At Wash U, Student Union and S.A.R.A.H. are encouraging students to participate in a photo campaign to raise awareness of what we all can do to be a part of the solution. Student groups, teams, and chapters were asked to have discussions about Wash U culture, make a commitment a safer and more respectful Wash U, and identify an action step to achieve that goal. Photos from the campaign are posted on the Student Union Facebook page, facebook.com/wustudentunion.
Student Union created and dispersed a video featuring student and university leaders stating facts, dispelling rape myths, and taking pledges to take action. In conjunction with the video, S.A.R.A.H. created a resource sheet with important information and contacts students should be aware of.
Sexual assault and rape on college campuses will not end with this campaign. There are systematic and structural forces that contribute to this issue, and will not be resolved with bystander intervention alone. However, this campaign brings attention to an issue that is too often ignored, and puts responsibility on each member of our community to create a campus culture where sexual assault is not tolerated and survivors are supported.
It is important to have continual conversations about these issues, even when the Week of Action has ended. For more information, please do not hesitate to reach out to either of us and for support, please contact Kim Webb, Director for Sexual Assault and Community Health Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We urge you to reflect on these issues, engage in dialogue with your peers, and take the pledge to end sexual assault at Wash U.
Co President, Sexual Assault and Rape Anonymous Helpline (S.A.R.A.H.)
President, Student Union