It's painfully frustrating that rape remains such a pervasive problem in the United States — and around the world. Given that sobering fact, however, it is heartening how sexual assault PSAs have tried to combat the problem in recent years by using celebrities and impactful storylines to outline what a big deal this issue actually is.
Statistics from the CDC released in 2014 found that 1 in 5 women will be raped in the course of their lives. That's 20 percent of all women that you see riding the subway, eating at a restaurant, ordering a beer at a bar, jogging in the park, and just trying to live their lives free from the unwanted sexual advances of strangers, lovers, friends, acquaintances — and yes, even family members.
Movements like the SlutWalk have tried to reframe the conversation so survivors and would-be victims don't feel like it's their responsibility to evade assault, but women still disproportionately shoulder the blame. The non-profit organization It's On Us also has similar goals to the SlutWalk, and even put out a pledge that outlines how every single person is responsible for combating the sexual assault epidemic. They also are behind a few spot-on PSAs.
Here are four sexual assault PSAs that manage to get the message across in diverse, powerful ways.
1. College Humor's Bear Attacks
This video makes an absurd yet apt parallel, posing the question: if bear attacks happened as frequently as sexual assault does, could anyone in their right mind ignore it?
2. It's On Us
This straightforward ad yet powerful ad is filled with celebrities from Jon Hamm to Questlove, and ends with a message from President Obama.
3. Who Will You Help
This Canadian ad shows sexual assault from the victim's perspective, and spreads the message that if you stand by and do nothing, you're only helping the perpetrators.
It's On Us once again breaks the narrative of women being responsible for fending off would be rapists and assailants, and targets bystanders with this PSA narrated by Jon Hamm.
Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast, I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our Soundcloud page.