President Obama launched a campaign, It’s On Us, as effort to end sexual violence and assault against men and women on college campuses in the US. While this campaign is for college campuses, sexual violence and assault is a worldwide problem. Reading the WHO fact-sheet on sexual violence, it is baffling to see that many people around the world are being, or have ever been sexually assaulted. Sexual violence and assault is a global public health issue that needs to be eradicated, as it is violating basic rights of individuals and its consequences as fatal as murder or suicide. It is said that most cases of sexual assault and violence are experienced in intimate partner relationships. According to WHO, intimate partner and sexual violence are mostly perpetrated by men against women, and child sexual abuse affects both boys and girls.
As we celebrate love this February, be it in intimate relationships, or families, or mere friendships, let’s remember that we all have a responsibility to protect ourselves, the men or women we claim to love, and even people around us that we may not know personally but because they are human just like us.
I stand with the President who said, ‘It is on all of us to reject the quiet tolerance of sexual assault and to refuse to accept what’s unacceptable’
So what can we do? This Valentine’s day, make this personal pledge to help advance efforts to end sexual violence and assault (as well put by It’s On Us Campaign):
“I pledge to recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, to identify situations in which sexual assault may occur, to intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given, and to create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported”.