This past September, President Barack Obama and his crew at the White House launched a public awareness campaign called “It’s On Us.” Intent on breaking the back of the rising rate of college campus sexual assault cases, the campaign takes a new approach by informing college students everywhere that the responsibility is as much on them as it is on the authorities.
One of the 200 universities spearheading the campaign, Arkansas Tech University can now add “It’s On Us” to its list of other assault prevention programs.
But beyond the idea of merely preventing abuse, the “It’s On Us” campaign puts a little extra emphasis on taking a stand against sexual assault, pushing the realization that no one is immune to assault. This shift in thought is new.
For quite a while, it was assumed that women were always the victims, leaving men holding the blame card. And while the statistics of sexual assault cases fail to help men out, Obama’s campaign hopes to turn on the filter and clean things up.
Nevertheless, even as culture changes and society reaches toward equality for all, the fact remains that the male gender, though deserving no different treatment than its female counterpart, will always carry the heavy responsibility to protect others. Throughout history and mythology, men have always represented strength, loyalty and protection, and why should any of that change now?
And on the other side of the spectrum, the campaign challenges women not only to avoid throwing caution into the wind, but to try to understand the realities of sexual assault — for example, men may be more likely to wear a mask and cape, but that does not mean they are invincible.
That being said, both the Obama administration and Tech have ensured the gauntlet has been thrown down and the challenge made. Will you — whether male or female — take a stand against assaults on your campus?