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It’s On Us: Miami launches national campaign

By Sarah Knepp, For The Miami Student

"I promise to demonstrate love and honor by supporting and caring for my fellow Miamians."

This concludes the pledge for the "It's On Us" campaign, a national program launched by President Barack Obama last September to help combat sexual assault.

The program is coming to Miami March 2.

"The Office of Student Wellness is a supporter of the campaign," said Rebecca Baudry, director of Student Wellness. "We offer programming to students about interpersonal violence, Step Up! Bystander intervention program and healthy sexual relationships that reflect the goals of the broader It's On Us campaign."

According to the Sexual Assault Prevention Team, the It's On Us campaign is geared toward "preventing sexual and interpersonal violence at Miami."

"The campaign is to raise awareness about sexual assault and connect other programming and events on campus with a common goal," Baudry said.

The program has been introduced to nearly 200 colleges across the nation, and has partnered up with big-name organizations, such as the NCAA, Electronic Arts and Viacom to spread the word.

According to the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, one in four women will be the victim of sexual assault during her college career, and a rape is committed on a college campus every 21 hours.

Studies also indicate only 12 percent of sexual assaults are reported.

The purpose of It's On Us is to make sexual assault something that is not only a crime, but also something that everyone views as unacceptable. More than that, It's On Us encourages people to support victims of sexual assault and have more people actively try to prevent it.

In a speech discussing the campaign, President Obama said that it is everyone's responsibility to change the way we talk about sexual assault and make sure that we stop it from happening if we suspect something going on that could be or turn into sexual assault.

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It's On Us targets college men in particular to get involved with the campaign and be more open to recognizing what sexual assault is and how it can be prevented.

Since the national launch of the program, many people have accepted the pledge, available on itsonus.org.

With the It's On Us campaign coming to Miami next week, students are encouraged to get involved and take the pledge in hopes to stop sexual assault here and across thae country. "Look for opportunities to get involved on the university calendar," Baudry said.

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