The White House has released the latest PSA in its efforts to end sexual assault, and with it a new website that asks visitors to take a pledge as a “personal commitment to help keep women and men safe…”
The “It’s On Us” campaign has enlisted the help of celebrities such as Jon Hamm, Kerry Washington, Mayim Bialik and Randy Jackson, along with partners like BET and the NCAA. The President and Vice President have a cameo in the clip.
The Obama Administration’s efforts in this area began with the launch of the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault, which has another site, NotAlone.gov. Sharing information and making it explicitly clear what sexual assault is and where to turn to for help have been the first major steps for both campaigns.
In a presser about the campaign, “Mr. Obama called for a ‘fundamental shift in our culture’ in the way women are treated and in the response to victims of sexual assault.”
In May, the Department of Education announced that it was investigating 55 colleges for the way that they handle sexual assaults. He didn’t talk about the issues facing the NFL specifically, but President Obama has addressed the need for awareness in sports.
Back in April, the administration released another PSA, that one starring celebrities like Dule Hill, Seth Meyers and Daniel Craig. It was released after VP Biden made a speech in which he not only spoke about sexual assault, but the horrible ways that victims are treated.
This PSA goes a step further, not just telling men not to commit this crime, but asking all of us to take responsibility as a society and a culture to step in when we see something happening.
While I personally think both PSAs are powerful — the first because it’s men addressing men directly, the second because, with much more stark visuals, it addresses everyone — the second is more of a call to action. By talking to us all, it not only speaks to men, but empowers women to help themselves and one another.
Here’s the earlier PSA.