November 6, 2014
Tech athletics participating in 'It's On Us' initiative
Campaign designed to help put an end to sexual assault on college campuses

BLACKSBURG – University athletics departments around the country are using the power of sports to help put an end to sexual assault on college campuses, and Virginia Tech is joining that effort.

The Hokies’ athletics department announced Thursday its plans to participate in the “It’s On Us” initiative, an awareness and action campaign launched by U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and designed to address – and put an end to – the growing problem of sexual assault at colleges and universities around the country. An estimated one in five women are sexually assaulted during her college years, and only 12 percent of those assaults get reported. Only a fraction of the offenders get punished.

The “It’s On Us” initiative asks everyone –men and women – to make a personal commitment to step off the sidelines and be a part of the solution by taking a pledge to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault. The initiative asks each person to:

• Recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault

• Identify situations in which sexual assault may occur

• Intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given

• Create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

At Tech, the athletics department has released a video featuring student-athletes speaking out against sexual assault and being a part of the “It’s On Us” initiative. The department plans on releasing this video through all of its social media channels.

“The reason that I wanted to get involved in this campaign is because I think it’s important to stand up against sexual assault,” Tech volleyball standout LaTasha Samson-Akpan said. “It is good for our athletics department to be involved in this cause because we, as athletes, are looked up to on campus. If others see that we are not condoning it, then that might influence others to join us in helping solve this problem.”

The department also plans on pushing out graphic elements featuring student-athletes that relay educational facts related to sexual assault. These elements will be released through the HokieSports Instagram and Twitter accounts.

"Being a part of the 'It's On Us' campaign means being a leader, and taking action to be a part of a solution that is long overdue," Tech men’s basketball player Greg Donlon said. “This is an opportunity for us, as athletes, to use our influence for something that’s much bigger than ourselves. It’s the right thing to do, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

In the coming weeks, the department will launch a second video featuring coaches and administrators. That video will not only encourage young people to take a stand, but also older people.

The NCAA, the ACC, the Big Ten and the Atlantic 10 are four of several partners on this initiative.

For more information about the initiative and/or to take the pledge, please visit the following website –

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