Campaign urges education, involvement to stop sexual violence

It's on Us logo

Get educated and get involved.

Those are the goals of the It’s on Us initiative, launched last fall as part of a national campaign to stop sexual violence on campus.

“We want to engage all members of the campus community to help prevent sexual assault,” said DuJuan Smith, assistant dean of students. “We’re asking everyone to make a personal commitment to step off the sidelines and be part of the solution.”

UIC’s ongoing campaign is highlighted this month at events for Sexual Assault Awareness Month to “shatter the silence” around sexual violence and start conversations on campus.

Events include a bystander intervention workshop, a talk on sexual harassment in the STEM fields, a dialogue on reimagining masculinity and more. View a complete list of events on the Campus Advocacy Network website. Participants can pick up a teal ribbon at any event to show their support.

“Students, faculty and staff can take the pledge saying they are committed to standing against sexual assault on college campuses,” Smith said.

Last fall, UIC launched a new website where students and employees can learn how to report an incident, find support and participate in campus safety programs.

“We provide some talking points if you’re a family member talking to someone you love, or a staff member talking to a student,” Smith said.

Sexual violence should be reported to the UIC Police. The Office for Access and Equity performs an investigation into incidents of sexual misconduct and the Office of the Dean of Students conducts a formal hearing if misconduct is found, Smith said.

At an April 30 program, mandated reporters will explain what happens during an investigation into sexual misconduct, Smith said. “I hope people use these events as an opportunity to really educate themselves,” he said.

The nationwide It’s on Us tagline has been modified to make it unique to UIC: “It’s on us to make a difference. Stop sexual violence.”

“We wanted to honor the national campaign, while still thinking about UIC and our population,” Smith said.

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