On Friday, the White House released a new ad to launch the kick off the #ItsOnUs campaign. The campaign features celebrities saying ,“It’s on us…” to (and I quote):
- Stop sexual assault
- Get in the way before it happens
- Get a friend home safe
- Not blame the victim
- Look out for each other
- Not look the other way
- Stand up
- Step in
- Take responsibility
“It’s on us, all of us to stop sexual assault,” says Vice President Joe Biden.
The ad ends with President Obama urging viewers to sign the “It’s On Us” pledge at itsonus.org.
Don’t get me wrong. I completely agree that something needs to happen to change how men and women think of sexual assault. This “public service announcement” doesn’t do anything though. Having famous celebrities telling people to “get a friend home safe” or “look out for each other” doesn’t change how sexual predators think. A man isn’t going to stop and say “Sorry, I can’t rape you because Randy Jackson was in an ad that told me sexual assault is wrong.” Get real!
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN),“1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted rape in her lifetime” and “17.7 MILLION American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape. “
This campaign is a slap in victims’ faces because the narrative goes with the stereotypical narrative that offenders are often strangers. The reality?
“73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.”
As someone who has been the victim of sexual assault and the horrible aftermath of it, I’m personally offended that the Obama Administration thinks that they can film a video with celebrities and suddenly the work is done. This video was more like a “Get Out The Vote” (GOTV) campaign than a public service announcement.
President Obama, if you want to make an impact on the American people and make a positive impact on a non-political issue, then create a real campaign. Make pamphlets. Create a classroom curriculum for health classes. Focus on education with facts!
On a side note, I was shocked to see an Obama Administration website working. Maybe there’s a small tiny glimmer of hope?