Changing the culture surrounding sexual assault on college campuses is the focus of a White House campaign in which Bridgewater College will participate Nov. 18-21.
The "It's On Us" campaign was designed, not to target aggressors, but to change the conversations taking place about sexual assault and to change the behavior of bystanders – those who actually witness a situation and don't do anything about it. In other words, "it's on us" to get involved and step in when there may be an issue.
At Bridgewater, participants will take the "It's On Us" pledge to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault; to not be a bystander to the problem, but to be a part of the solution; to recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault; to identify situations in which sexual assault may occur; to intervene in situations in which consent has not or cannot be given; and to create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.
Students at Bridgewater will conduct a drive next week designed to get people to take the pledge and to share it via Facebook or Twitter in the form of a "viral badge." Workshops will also be offered.
"Saying ‘it's on us’ may appear to be a simplistic way to address a very complex issue, but the reality is, it really is on us, each one of us, to step up and be a part of the solution," said Crystal Lynn, associate dean of students at Bridgewater and one of the organizers of the "It's On Us" campaign at the college. “If there is one take-away that I want our students to understand, it is that they truly have the power to intervene and to make a difference for someone else.”
For further information about "It's On Us," please visit itsonus.org.