SB Nation has partnered with the It's On Us campaign to stop sexual assault on college campuses.
The flagship organization recently produced a PSA featuring several professional athletes, including Denver Broncos' own Julius Thomas:
And many of the SB Nation blogs - including Mile High Report - have joined in support of this effort, which you may have noticed in the Twitter logo change recently:
Although many of us are long past our own college days, we have siblings, children, friends and neighbors who may be directly impacted, and the statistics are sobering:
- 1 in 5 college women and 1 in 16 college men will be sexually assaulted on campus each year
- Yet, 40 percent of college institutions reported no investigations in the last 5 years
- 8 in 10 times the victim knows the perpetrator
- Alcohol is a factor in a majority of sexual assault cases
The point of the campaign is to remind all of us that we can play a role in helping to stop sexual assaults before they happen.
Mayu Takeda, a regional director for Generation Progress, which is implementing the campaign, reminds us how easy it is to help and why that's so important.
Also, in case you're wondering why she's so smart, it's because she's also a Broncos fan:
"I think we can all agree that sexual assault is unacceptable. So if that's the case, why shouldn't we all do something to stop it?" says Takeda. "If someone sees a potentially compromising situation we should all feel responsible to step in and say, ‘Hey, let's just get her home.' The onus of preventing sexual assault shouldn't just be on the most vulnerable person in the room."
The support from SB Nation and the sports community in general has given It's On Us a big boost, Takeda adds, because it has engaged more men in the conversation.
"When we have student athletes and national organizations with a large male audience take a stance, it not only brings lots of attention to the cause but also creates more space for guys to talk about this issue," she said. "A year ago, you wouldn't have named student athletes and fraternity brothers as top advocates for survivors of sexual assault. Today, many of them are."
But Takeda points out again that the issue isn't just on college campuses and so it's good to have the entire country talking about it too. The Ray Rice situation that led the NFL to produce a PSA on domestic violence has been a powerful ally in emphasizing this zero tolerance for sexual assault.
"The goal of ‘It's On Us' is to change the way we think about sexual assault. That kind of cultural shift requires the engagement of people outside of college campuses," she said. "People can play a proactive role to prevent sexual assault in sports bars, at parties, and in clubs. Even though we've seen a lot of organizing around campus sexual assault, the reality is, sexual harassment and assault isn't a problem unique to college campuses."
So even if you aren't in college anymore, Mile High Report still encourages everyone to go to ItsOnUs.org to take the pledge to intervene and stop sexual assault before it can happen.
Q&A with Broncos fan Mayu Takeda:
Takeda is a lifelong Broncos fan, since 1994 when she came to the States at age 3, so now as she carries the OrangeAndBlue torch in D.C., it seemed only appropriate to get her perspective on this Broncos team.
"I had no idea what football was, but my parents did a really good job of teaching me I was supposed to root for the team in orange and blue," she says.
What is your favorite Broncos game to date?
The 1998 Super Bowl game. We had moved back to Japan right before the playoffs started, but I still remember someone had sent my parents Broncos' hoodies to wear, and we tried to follow along as much as we could.
So the championship wasn't a game I got to watch, but it gave me a sense of connection to a place I missed a lot-we actually missed Denver so much we ended up moving back a few years later-and we were ecstatic when we found out our Broncos had won!
What do you think the Broncos need to do to pull it together and save this season?
A few things. First, we need our roster to return to health. A key running back, wide receiver, and tight end are all hurt and Welker hasn't looked the same post his last concussion. Second, we need to re-establish the running game. They are kind of doing a running-back-by-committee thing because no one running back has stood out. Third, we need the Chiefs to not do so well.
(See? I told you all she was smart!)
Haha well I was actually living in Kansas City before I moved out to D.C., so it's been a really nice transition!
You didn't experience the 1988 Super Bowl (42-10 Redskins over the Broncos), but do you get some pushback on that from Redskins fans there? Or are they so embarrassed by their teams of late, they don't even go there?
You know, no one's mentioned that one to me, probably because as you implied, that would bait me into pointing out their current situation.
What's your game prediction for this weekend?
Denver will likely get back on track and win pretty convincingly. We're playing a Dolphins team that is good but not great, and I think playing a weaker team at Mile High will do us some good. I would venture to say, it's very unlikely we lose.
What is your favorite Game Day tradition when watching the Broncos games?
Wearing my brown and yellow Broncos hat! :)
Now how can you not want to support her cause? It takes 20-seconds to pledge.