Fort Collins was the first city in the nation to become an It’s On Us Community, part of a sexual assault awareness campaign started by the Obama administration. The program’s goal is to create widespread understanding that everyone is responsible for ending sexual violence. A summit at Colorado State University on April 10 will explore how to grow the initiative even further.
According to Lea Hanson, program director for It’s On Us Fort Collins, the summit is an opportunity to share some of the findings from launching the community wide effort, and to brainstorm strategies to implement It’s On Us in other Colorado communities.
Ultimately, she hopes the summit will lead to the creation of a steering committee for the entire state.
Hanson came into her role as program director while volunteering with the Sexual Assault Victim Advocacy (SAVA) Center in Greeley and Fort Collins, which partnered with the city and CSU to bring the initiative to the whole community.
“At a federal level it was first conceived of as a campus initiative,” she says. “It was an opportunity for campuses to start this conversation if they weren’t already having it. The idea of expanding it to a community-wide level was kind of new, and was an opportunity for us in Fort Collins to figure out what that meant.”
According to Hanson, everyone—not just those on college campuses—benefits from education and resources pertaining to assault.
“Sexual violence is quite frankly a topic that affects all people in some way or another,” Hanson says. “We all have either experienced sexual violence personally or know someone who has. And unfortunately it’s a very common thing anywhere.”
The It’s On Us Summit takes place on Monday April 10th on the CSU campus. For a schedule and to register, visit itsonusfortcollins.org.