Jon Hamm joins a host of celebrities for a public service announcement promoting President Obama’s “It’s On Us” campaign to end sexual assault on college campuses. The campaign asks everyone to take the pledge to take responsibility for preventing sexual assault wherever possible.
According to an official White House statement, “It’s On Us” is a “new public awareness and action campaign designed to prevent sexual assault at colleges and universities, change the culture on our campuses, and better engage men in this effort.”
The movement went online recently with the website itsonus.org, which also features the pledge, service announcement, and, of course, Jon Hamm.
The White House is bringing out an A-team from TV, film, music and sports to push the campaign forward. The Mad Men star Jon Hamm is accompanied by Ryan Seacrest, Mayim Bialik, Randy Jackson, Hip hop artist Common, Kevin Love, musician Questlove, Rose Byrne, Connie Britton, Kerry Washington, and, naturally, Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
The battle to end sexual violence is nothing new; the actual crime rates for rape have declined over the years, but there’s still a long way to go.
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), between 1993 and 2010, instances of sexual assault have dropped by over 50 percent, preventing about 5.5 million crimes. Despite the progress that’s been made, the number of women who will face sex crimes in their life is still staggering. The CDC reports that the figure is about one in five women will have an unwanted sexual encounter in their lifetime.
The subject is still a matter of political controversy. Missouri representative Todd Adkin set off a fire storm when he was quoted as saying that “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.” After constant criticism from the media, Adkin lost his congressional seat after women voters turned up in mass.
It’s not clear if making Jon Hamm the face of social responsibility in preventing rape will work as a media strategy, but the public service announcement at least signals that the White House is taking action on this issue.
The “It’s On Us” pledge asks people to do the following:
To recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.
To identify situations in which sexual assault may occur.
To intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.
To create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.
As Jon Hamm explains, “It’s on us to do something, anything, to keep an assault from happening.”
[Image Credit: Youtube.com]