I'm proud to work for our President every day. But that's especially true today.
"To the survivors who are leading the fight against sexual assault on campuses, your efforts have helped to start a movement. I know that ... there are times where the fight feels lonely, and it feels as if you're dredging up stuff that you'd rather put behind you. But we're here to say, today, it's not on you. This is not your fight alone. It's on all of us -- every one of us -- to fight campus sexual assault. You are not alone, and we have your back."
That's what President Obama said in the East Room this morning, when he announced the launch of "It's On Us" -- a new effort to fundamentally change the way we think about sexual assault as a country, by inspiring everyone to see it as their responsibility to do something.
When I was in college, I met so many courageous students and friends who had been victims of sexual assault. Their stories, and countless stories of people just like them, touched me deeply and personally. They made me feel angry, sad, outraged, and -- often times -- powerless.
I decided to do absolutely everything that I could to make a change, and keep it from happening to anyone else. So I organized with our campus gender relations center. We conducted bystander intervention trainings for students across campus, and worked to get out the word about sexual assault: how people couple help step up to stop it, and how survivors could get the resources they needed to heal.
I believe, just like so many others working to end sexual assault, that it's on every one of us to step up, take a stand, and make a difference where we can.
Right now, I'm asking you to take a stand, too -- join the President and Americans across the country by making a personal commitment to help keep men and women safe from sexual assault. Visit ItsOnUs.org, and take the pledge.
Today, it's estimated that one in five women on college campuses has been sexually assaulted. Just 12 percent of those assaults are reported.
It's on all of us to change that.
So when you take a stand, you're recognizing that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.
You're saying you'll identify situations in which sexual assault may occur, and you're saying you'll intervene when it does.
You're committing to help create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and in which its survivors are supported.
Because we'll only move forward as a country when every single one of us fully understands and owns the stake we have in this fight.
Add your name, join the fight, and let's move forward together.
It's on us.
Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff
Office of the First Lady
The White House