The White House has a stern message for students who are headed to college: Sex without consent is rape. Period.
A new PSA warning video features celebrities including Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Josh Hutcherson, and Minka Kelly.
From the script:
There’s one thing you can never have sex without. It’s not something you buy or something you take. In fact there’s only one way to get it. It has to be given to you freely. It’s consent, because sex without it isn’t sex, it’s rape. Consent: If you don’t get it, you don’t get it
The new video is part of the “It’s On Us” campaign to reduce rape on college campuses, led by Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Obama.
“When we send our young people away for college, we want them to have an enriched learning experience, and they shouldn’t have to suffer from what we know is a crime,” Jarrett said in a recent interview with the Huffington Post. “And it’s happening to the point where it’s really an epidemic.”
President Obama has been upfront on the issue, particularly in response to the public scandal surrounding Bill Cosby.
“If you give a woman — or a man, for that matter — without his or her knowledge, a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape,” Obama said in a press conference in July after he was asked to comment on the scandal. “And I think this country — any civilized country — should have no tolerance for rape.”