Things We Need To Stop Saying About Sexual Assault

by Emma Cueto

There are a lot of underlying issues that contribute to the appallingly high rate of sexual assault in our society, but a big part of the problem is the way we socialize boys and girls. A new video from SheKnows Media and the AdCouncil, the #HatchKids take on "It's On Us," showcases why we need to change the conversation around sexual assault — and how we can change the ways we socialize our kids. Because the way we're doing things now clearly aren't working.

The new video is part of the "It's On Us" campaign. Launched by the White House two years ago, it aims to shift the conversation around sexual assault and asks people to pledge to, among other things, "recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault" and "create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported."

The new ad features tweens, teens, and college students holding signs with comments and statements that kids regularly hear from adults, all of which perpetuate a culture in which girls are taught to forgive boys' bad behavior and to think it's their responsibility to avoid being assaulted. They also showcase the ways in which boys are taught to be aggressive and never face consequences for their actions. Taken together, they illustrate that is the exact environment that makes sexual assault so common.

“Sparking conversation is critical in order to move the needle forward on cultural change,” said It’s On Us Director Rebecca Kaplan in a press release. “We’re so excited to partner with SheKnows Media on this new PSA and draw attention to how language can perpetuate rape culture and victim blaming. It’s on all of us to take responsibility for our actions and words.”

Here are some of the things we can stop saying in order to make a huge difference:

Because it really is on all of us to change the way we talk about sexual assault — and the ideas and attitudes that contribute to it.

Watch the full video here:

Images: SheKnows/YouTube (7)