"It's On Us" to Keep Each Other Safe
This blog post is slightly different from the rest. We've given you plenty of information on academics and extracurriculars, but we all know that your social life throughout high school and college is hugely important. Yesterday, the campaign It’s On Us posted a new video called "Autocorrect." It’s On Us is an initiative started by President Obama that aims to end sexual assault on campus. While the video is unsettling to watch, it’s (unfortunately) extremely relevant for high school and college students. Check out the video below:
The It’s On Us YouTube page has an entire gallery of videos featuring celebrities that have partnered with the organization to bring awareness about sexual assault to campuses across the country. It's a topic that isn't fun to talk about, and it probably isn't something that you'll study in class. However, it's something that you will address (or already have addressed) one way or another during your schooling. By keeping the tips provided by It's On Us in your back pocket, you'll be able to identify bad situations and speak up.
Tip #1: Consent is voluntary and mutual, and can be withdrawn at any time.
Tip #2: Past consent does not mean current or future consent.
Tip #3: There is no consent when there is force, intimidation, or coercion.
Tip #4: One cannot always consent if under the influence or alcohol and/or drugs.
Tip #5: Talk to your friends honestly and openly about sexual assault.
Tip #6: Don't just be a bystander - if you see something, intervene in any way you can.
Tip #7: Trust your gust. If something looks like it might be a bad situation, it probably is.
Tip #8: Be direct. Ask someone who looks like they may need help if they need help.
Tip #9: Get someone to help you if you see something - enlist a friend, R.A., bartender, or host to help step in.
Tip #10: Keep an eye on someone who has had too much to drink.
Tip #11: If you see someone who is too intoxicated to consent, enlist their friends to help them leave safely.
Tip #12: Recognize the potential danger of someone who talks about planning to target another person at a party.
Tip #13: Be aware if someone is deliberately trying to intoxicate, isolate, or corner someone else.
Tip #14: Get in the way by creating a distraction, drawing attention to the situation, or separating them.
Tip #15: Understand that if someone does not or cannot consent to sex, it's rape.
Tip #16: Never blame the victim.
Tip #17: If you are a victim or survivor, or helping someone in that situation, go to notalone.gov to get the resources and information you need. You can also call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.
Additionally, the It's On Us website has a pledge that individuals can sign. It's On Us emphasizes that we need to look out for our friends and peers. We need to speak up with something doesn't feel right, and offer assistance to anyone who might need help getting out of a situation. Just as we look out for ourselves, we need to look out for those around us. For high school and college students alike, understanding and taking this pledge can be invaluable.