Obama launches campaign to halt sexual assault

In a White House speech on Friday, President Obama launched a public service campaign to stop sexual assault against women.

The “It’s On Us” campaign urges young men to take a proactive role in curbing sexual assault by intervening before a potentially dangerous situation arises.

“We still don’t condemn sexual assault as loudly as we should,” the president said. “We make excuses. We look the other way. The message that sends can have a chilling effect on our young women.”

Recent statistics have found that one of every five college women will be sexually assaulted before she graduates. In the past year, several U.S. colleges and universities have been criticized for not doing enough to prevent and respond to incidents of sexual assault against women.

As part of the campaign, the White House has recruited celebrities, including Jon Hamm, Kerry Washington, Questlove and Kevin Love, to urge young people to do their part.

The campaign’s Web site, itsonus.org, clearly defines sexual assault as any situation where “consent has not or cannot be given.” The site asks young men to take an online pledge to “recognize, identify and intervene,” and to “create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.”

Photo: New York Daily News