Governor Wolf Joins Vice President Biden to Launch “It’s On Us” National Spring Week of Action

April 05, 2016

Pittsburgh, PA — Governor Tom Wolf joined Vice President Joe Biden today to launch the “It’s On Us” National Spring Week of Action. This spring, the Week of Action is being held from April 3-9, during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Thousands of young people across the country will host and participate in events designed to not only raise awareness about the campaign but also continue to work to foster a culture of consent.

Vice President Biden and Governor Wolf joined US Department of Education Under Secretary Ted Mitchell, actor/activist Matt McGorry, University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Dr. Patrick Gallagher, and university faculty, staff, and students at the event at the University of Pittsburgh’s Petersen Events Center.

“For too many of our young people, classrooms and campuses are not the safe havens that they should be,” said Governor Wolf. “Sexual violence goes against the core of who we are and our collective responsibility to safeguard our children from harm. We can — and must — do more.”

Current sexual assault statistics are startling: 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted in college. Forty percent of survivors fear reprisal by their attacker. Only two percent of incapacitated rape survivors report assault, and only 13 percent of rape survivors report assault.

In response to this nationwide crisis, President Obama and Vice President Biden launched the “It’s On Us” campaign in September 2014. Since then, over 275,000 individuals have taken the “It’s On Us” pledge: to create an environment where sexual assault in unacceptable.

At the end of January, Governor Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf joined dozens of schools at Elizabethtown College in Lancaster to announce the launch of “It’s On Us PA” – the first statewide campaign to address the crisis of sexual assault in schools and on college campuses. Building on the national “It’s On Us” movement, “It’s On Us PA” engages education leaders from school superintendents to college presidents as well as students, teachers, families, and communities to make a personal and public pledge to play a role in preventing, addressing, and responding effectively to sexual violence.

Since the January launch of “It’s On Us PA,” over 500 individuals – including representation from nearly 200 schools across Pennsylvania — have taken the pledge and signed on to the campaign.

“I am thrilled to join Vice President Biden today to continue our work to spread awareness of and action on this issue,” said Governor Wolf. “Sexual assault should not be part of any student’s school or college experience. Ensuring our students’ safety and well-being is paramount not only for their success, but the success of Pennsylvania as a whole.”

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