Over Four Years in college, one out of four women will get sexually assaulted. Latina women are more likely to experience rape than their white counterparts, and LGBTQ students are more likely to experience sexual assault. One in every sixteen men will experience sexual assault. At the same time, only about 20% of women report their assaults. At the College of the Holy Cross, the Student Government Association is speaking out to bring awareness to and prevent sexual assault on campus.
The "It's On Us" campaign brings Holy Cross students, Title IX coordinators, administration, professors, and faculty together in a video speaking out about sexual assault by relaying the message that preventing sexual assault is a responsibility of everyone on campus. An e-mail sent out to students reads, "Sexual assault has been labeled “the hidden epidemic of our generation.” We have an obligation as people for and with others to stand up, speak out, and prevent sexual assault." Spreading awareness and encouraging people to speak up will hopefully lead to a decrease in the number of assaults on campuses across the United States.
The Holy Cross campaign asks students, faculty, and staff to sign a pledge at itsonus.org, as a personal commitment to keep men and women around us safe. The pledge reads:
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."
At Holy Cross, we have a responsibility to prevent sexual assault. Standing up and speaking out means respecting yourself and the men and women around you. It's about taking care of your friends, calling people out for catcalling, noticing signs of relationship violence, and making sure to always get consent.