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White House launches 'It's On Us' campaign to fight college sexual assault

Ahram Online, Saturday 20 Sep 2014
Obama, Biden
President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, delivers remarks at an event to launch the "It's On Us" campaign, a new public awareness and action campaign designed to prevent sexual assault at colleges and universities, in the East Room of the White House, Sept. 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo)
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The White House on Friday launched an awareness campaign to help put an end to sexual assault on college campuses in America.

According to the White House website, President Barack Obama joined Vice President Joe Biden in launching the campaign.  "It's On Us asks everyone -- men and women across America -- to make a personal commitment to step off the sidelines and be part of the solution to campus sexual assault," read the website .

"As far as we’ve come, the fact is that from sports leagues to pop culture to politics, our society still does not sufficiently value women," Obama said.

 "We still don’t condemn sexual assault as loudly as we should. We make excuses. We look the other way. The message that sends can have a chilling effect on young men and women" he continued.

The White House website also reported in a factsheet that since the beginning of Obama's administration, the President and Vice President have made it a priority to root out sexual violence wherever it exists," especially in our nation’s schools".

In April 2011, Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan introduced comprehensive guidance to help colleges and universities nationwide better understand their obligations under federal civil rights laws to prevent and respond to sexual assault on campus.

Friday's initiative went viral on Twitter, with the hash tag #ItsOnUs  calling for more people to take the pledge and end sexual assaults.

Well known figures such as Kerry Washington Jon Hamm, Rose Byrne, Questlove and others joined Obama and Biden in support of the campaign in a  YouTube video.

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