March 27, 2015
15-98

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

It’s On Us: VSU Joins Movement to End Sexual Assault

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends are invited to join a growing national movement against sexual assault by taking the It’s On Us pledge.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1, representatives from VSU’s Office of Health Promotions and The Haven will be in the Student Union handing out free information about sexual assault prevention and providing an opportunity for everyone to sign the It’s On Us pledge. The pledge can also be found online by visiting http://itsonus.org.

A White House initiative, It’s On Us aims to fundamentally shift the way men and women think about sexual assault by inspiring everyone to see it as their responsibility to do something — big or small — to prevent it. The campaign reflects the belief that sexual assault is more than a crime committed by a perpetrator against a victim; it is an issue in which everyone has a role to play.

Along with colleges and universities across the nation, VSU is committed to creating an environment where sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

“At Valdosta State, we are a community of respect,” said Chelsea Wells Holcombe, VSU’s health educator with the Office of Health Promotions. “We take care of one another.”

The It’s On Us pledge asks each signer 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, and to create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported. 

“By signing this pledge,” Holcombe continued, “you are making a personal commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault. It is a promise to not be a bystander to the problem but to be a part of the solution.”

Holcombe said that she would like to see the entire VSU community sign the pledge by April 10 and change all social media profile images to a special "It’s On Us Valdosta State University" logo, which can be found on the Valdosta State News Facebook page.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the It’s On Us initiative is part of VSU’s month-long action plan to end sexual violence. This year’s national campaign focuses on sexual assault on college and university campuses and strives to get everyone — administrators, faculty, staff, students, visitors, friends, neighbors, alumni — involved in creating safer campuses. The campaign’s goal is to help the entire community learn to take action to prevent sexual assault.

“Preventing sexual violence on campus takes more than one department, office, club, team, administrator, professor, staff member, or student,” Holcombe said. “It takes all of us working together in big and small ways. Everyone can play a role in creating a culture of safety, equality, and respect on campus.”

One in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college. Of these, more than 90 percent do not report the assault, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

The 2015 Sexual Assault Awareness Month slogan is “It’s Time to Act: Safer Campuses. Brighter Futures. Prevent Sexual Violence.”

Contact Chelsea Wells Holcombe at (229) 245-3896 or cwells@valdosta.edu for more information.

On the Web:

http://valdostahaven.org

http://www.nsvrc.org

http://www.valdosta.edu/student/student-services/counseling-center/health-promotions/welcome.php

http://itsonus.org


Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.

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