White House Releases New Bystander-Focused Anti-Rape PSA


“This isn’t a PSA about a sexual assault,” Jon Hamms voice intones in the White House’s latest PSA for their It’s On Us Campaign, which aims to prevent sexual assault. “It’s about being the guy who stops it.”

While the first PSAs for the campaign were star-studded, this one (despite the inclusion of Hamm’s voice) takes place at a party, a more universal experience than being told by a celebrity to care about something. The ad, according to BuzzFeed, will be played “in heavy rotation during college sports, before movies in theaters owned by Mark Cuban, on Xbox gaming consoles, and across social media.” It’s timed to next week’s National Week of Action organized by the Obama administration, in which officials will visit college campuses to talk about sexual assault.

“We think by making this a responsibility of the entire community, it would take a little of that responsibility off of the woman and it would ensure a change in culture,” Obama’s senior advisor Valerie Jarrett said. “There are limits to what you can do with rules and regulations and laws. The only way you’re really going to change behavior is to change a culture of what’s acceptable behavior and what’s not acceptable.”

“It’s becoming a part of the conversation that everyone is having,” she added. “I have several friends who have either juniors or seniors in high school. Every parent is asking the question, ‘What is the attitude of the college or university you’re considering toward sexual assault?’ When my daughter went to college 10 years ago, it never occurred to me to ask that question.”

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