"It's On Us is a movement aimed at fundamentally shifting the culture around sexual assault. It's a rallying cry, inviting everyone to step up and realize that the solution begins with all of us."
Since the beginning of this Administration, the President and Vice President have made it a priority to root out sexual misconduct wherever it exists, especially on our nation's college campuses. Students have played a significant role in carrying out the Administration's vision for having educational institutions that are free from violence. Around the country, college women and men are taking active roles in ensuring that their schools have robust and comprehensive plans to better understand and prevent sexual misconduct.
The White House is proud to host its final event focused on stopping sexual violence against students, the It's On Us Summit. The Summit will bring together student leaders, campus, community, business and media partners, and federal colleagues. Attendees have gathered from across the country to hear from members of the Administration and outside stakeholders about the work that is being done to address campus sexual assault and to engage in a dialogue about the future of this work, both on college campuses and in communities across the country.
The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault Presents its Final Report
In April 2011, Vice President Biden and the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, introduced comprehensive guidance to help colleges and universities better understand their obligations under federal civil rights laws to prevent and respond to sexual assault on campus. Building on those efforts, in January 2014, the President and Vice President established the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault (Task Force). The Task Force, co-chaired by the Office of the Vice President and the White House Council on Women and Girls, has since worked diligently to assist schools in addressing campus sexual assault.
In collaboration with Federal partners, the Task Force has produced a number of practical tools that are readily available to students, administrators, faculty, campus police, health care professionals, and others who play key roles in these efforts. Today, the White House will release The Second Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. This second and final report builds on the recommendations and lessons learned from the first report of the Task Force, Not Alone, released in 2014, and documents the advances that have been made throughout this Administration to address sexual misconduct in higher education. It also highlights some of the innovative and forward thinking initiatives that have been undertaken by campuses around the Nation.
In conjunction with the report, today the White House will also release Preventing and Addressing Campus Sexual Misconduct: A Guide for University and College Presidents, Chancellors, and Senior Administrators (Guide). The Guide serves as a foundation for campus leadership to develop, or further hone, comprehensive responses to sexual misconduct at their institutions. Through its final report and the Guide, the Task Force underscores the importance of university leadership sending a strong public message of support for these responses -- and the faculty, staff, and students who help develop them -- and championing a culture shift that promotes safe campuses that are free from sexual misconduct.
It's On Us
After scores of listening sessions with students across the country, the President and Vice President launched It's On Us in September of 2014.
It's On Us is a movement aimed at fundamentally shifting the culture around sexual assault. It's a rallying cry, inviting everyone to step up and realize that the solution begins with all of us. The campaign works to educate, engage, and empower students and communities across the country to do something, big or small, to end sexual assault. The campaign has three core pillars - consent education, increasing bystander intervention, and creating an environment that supports survivors. Over the past two years, almost 400,000 people have taken the It's On Us pledge online and students have hosted almost 2,000 events on over 500 college campuses nationwide. The campaign has 95 partners, including MTV, Snapchat, and Major League Baseball.
The Vice President has traveled to numerous college campuses to talk with students about the responsibility we all share to step in and prevent sexual assault when we see it happening. As a lifelong champion for ending violence against women, he has shared this message of engagement and support for survivors with diverse audiences, including at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles in March 2016, and the NCAA Final Four Tournament in Houston in March 2016.
This year, It's On Us launched several new programs including a nationwide Student Engagement Program structured into eight Regional Teams of student leaders. This spring, each Team will host a Regional Summit to build upon the work of the campaign over the past two years. These Regional Summits will bring together students, advocates, community leaders, and campus administrators on the local level to focus on coordinated prevention strategies and messaging. Through this series of local summits, It's On Us will train and educate over 800 leaders on consent, bystander intervention, and creating an environment that supports survivors.
Additionally, It's On Us recently launched two new programs:
A Greek Leadership Council comprised of fraternity and sorority leadership, and a Campus Innovation Program to partner directly with college and university administrators. Over the next year, It's On Us will continue to grow these programs, as well as launch new initiatives and critical partnerships focused on engaging the athletic and entertainment communities.
Because of the dedicated student advocates and the leadership of our partners, we are confident that the work to prevent and respond to sexual assault on campuses and in communities across the country will continue. Join our effort by taking the pledge at ItsOnUs.org.
If you or someone you know is in need of support, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.
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