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Will changing the way we talk about sexual assault change our culture?

A recent public service announcement (PSA) on sexual assault aims to change the conversation about rape and other types of sexual assault. Featuring kids, college students and adults, the PSA highlights the messages people receive about sexual assault.

Each person in the PSA holds a sign with a different statement or question that sexual assault victims often face, including "What were you wearing?" and "Boys will be boys." These messages are, sadly, still a large part of our culture's attitude toward sexual assault.

Reaching young children and college students is key

This PSA is part of a larger initiative by It's On Us, an organization dedicated to changing the messages about sexual assault and gender roles that most people begin receiving as young children. Raising awareness in kids as young as 11 or 12, as well as teens and college students, may help change the way they think about sexual assault. The group also focuses on the issue of sexual assault on college campuses, holding events at schools across the country.

The prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses has been in the news more and more over the last few years. The Penn State/Jerry Sandusky case and reports about colleges and universities refusing to support sexual assault survivors and hold abusers accountable make it clear that this is an issue that needs immediate attention.

Sexual assault on college campuses

There are numerous ways that sexual assault occurs on campuses. Some of the most common college sexual assault cases involve issues such as:

  • Abuse by coaches
  • Abuse by professors
  • Assault on victims incapacitated by alcohol
  • Use of Rohypnol or roofies
  • Date rape
  • Lack of adequate campus security

If you or a loved one experienced any type of sexual harassment or assault on a college campus, you may be able to take action with a civil suit. The school may not cooperate with you, but with an experienced lawyer as your advocate, you can pursue justice.

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