UIS Women’s Center launches ‘Its on Us’ campaign

UIS Women's Center launches 'Its on Us' campaign

Tamarra Newbern, News Reporter

The Women’s Center at UIS will soon begin an “It’s On Us” campaign with the goal of spreading awareness of sexual assault on college campuses.

The “It’s On Us” campaign began on Sept. 19, 2014 when President Barack Obama joined Vice President Joe Biden and Americans all across the country to start the “It’s on Us” initiative.

Obama stated, “An estimated one in five women has been sexually assaulted during her college years – one in five. Of those assaults, only 12 percent are reported, and of those reported assaults, only a fraction of the offenders are punished.”

The president asked for men and women all throughout America to step up and commit to being a part of the solution to campus sexual assaults.

Obama also asked colleges to begin implementing safety week awareness events on campus for the campaign.

Participants in the campaign make a pledge to not commit sexual violence and to learn about the bystander effect, which allows people to learn and understand how to intervene and protect people from possible sexual assault.

The whole idea of the “It’s On Us” campaign is that everyone is responsible and must learn how to prevent sexual assault to reduce the number of victims, whether they be male or female.

In reference to the “It’s On Us” campaign, Lynn Otterson, director of the Women’s Center, stated, “[Obama] is creating an opportunity for students to make opportunities and make a difference in their lives.”

Otterson added, “You should take your own responsibility to make a better community”

The UIS “It’s On Us” campaign will kick off on Feb. 29 in the Lincoln Residence Hall Greatroom at 9:30 p.m.

The week dedicated to the campaign will be called “Meditation for a Peaceful Community,” and the campaign as a whole will last until April 22 when the annual Take Back the Night event is held on the UIS campus.

This year will be the 22nd year for the Take Back the Night event to occur at UIS. Take Back the Night is a march and rally during the night to take back the right to safely be out at night. It is also a healing event for survivors of sexual assault.

Visit www.whitehouse.gov for more information and what schools are participating in the campaign. You also may visit the official Facebook page for the campaign at “UIS It’s On Us Pledge.”

If you believe this is an important topic, you may take a pledge to do your part to make the UIS campus and many other campuses as safe as possible.