Athletes raise awareness for sexual assault

Peter Mason
Contributing Writer

In an effort to stop sexual assault on college campuses, VCU’s student-athletes hosted an awareness campaign at the Compass between Shafer and Cabell Library on Thursday, April 16 called, “It’s On Us.”

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) held the awareness pledge with student-athletes from all of the VCU sports programs attending the three-hour campaign.

Alexandria Gogolin, a senior on the women’s soccer team, attended and explained that in addition to raising awareness to stop sexual assault on college campuses, the pledge represents much more.

“We’re out here in the Compass today representing the nationwide campaign ‘It’s On Us’ as an official partner of the A-10,”  Gogolin said. “We’re out here trying to get people to pledge to stop sexual assault.”

According to the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault, a nonprofit organization, one out of every four women will be the victim of a sexual assault.

The website itsonus.org gives visitors the option to take a pledge, stating that you pledge to recognize that any kind of non-consentual sex is sexual assault. It also states that you identify situations in which sexual assaults may occur, that you will intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given, and that you will create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported. The website states that the pledge is a commitment to keep men and women safe from sexual assault. It also says that “it is a promise not to be a bystander to the problem, but to be part of the solution.”

The New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault states that at least 80 percent of sexual assaults are committed by an acquaintance of the victim. The problem is becoming more recognized by universities and the solution to the problem has been made a priority. Visitors can take the pledge via the website, or the “It’s On Us” Facebook page, where the pledge can be taken.

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