30 Men Show Us Who's Really Responsible for Preventing Sexual Assault


When we talk about "men's issues," the topic of sexual assault rarely comes up. But given that males commit the vast majority of rapes, it's unfortunate that we don't hear more men offering to help find solutions to a problem they so often perpetuate.

This lack of male participation is one of the reasons why President Obama and Vice President Biden are joining forces to call on men to "step up" and take sexual assault prevention into their own hands. Their new campaign, "It's on Us," calls on men to take responsibility for the rape epidemic entrenched across college campuses nationwide.

"The truth is, it's not just okay to intervene, it is your responsibility," Obama told a crowd of activists and reporters at the White House on Sept. 19. "It is your responsibility to speak your mind. It is your responsibility to tell your buddy when he's messing up. It is your responsibility to set the right tone when you're talking about women, even when women aren't around — maybe especially when they're not around."

The campaign is not just about bystander intervention, however; it's also about creating a societal shift in the way that men think and speak about women. Studies show that "what men think other men think is one of the strongest determinants of how men act," but that they consistently overestimate the extent to which other men adhere to rape myths. That means a cultural shift is radically necessary.

But how do we change men's perceptions about rape culture? By celebrating the voices of the men who are allies — and ensuring that their voices are elevated above their less enlightened peers.

Here's a small sampling of men who believe it's "on them" to end sexual assault. Feel free to add your own voice to the chorus of males who are done blaming women for a problem that concerns us all. Use the #ItsOnUs hashtag to spread the message.

1. John Legend

2. Donte' Stallworth, NFL Veteran

3. Michael Skolnik

4. Tristan Gutierrez Garcia

5. Andy Stepanian, Sparrow Media

6. Hudson Taylor, Athlete Ally

7. Bayo Adafin, Mic

8. Jared Keller, Mic

9. Jordan Valinsky, Mic

10. Tri Vo and Christopher Altchek, Mic

11. Jake Horowitz, Mic

12. Derrick Clifton, Mic

13. Mychal Denzel Smith, The Nation

14. Jesse Ayala Jr., Modavanti

15. James Salazar, HeadCount

16. Jason Jeremias, Price of Silence

17. Jarid Blumenthal, HeadCount

18. Griffin Ramme

19. Zak Miller, Clinton Foundation

20. Tyler Rattray, Change.org

21. Daniel Alejandro Leon-Davis

22. Jon Wilson, DoNYC

23. Liran Okanon, Mic

24. Neil Irvin, Men Can Stop Rape

25. Stephen Grybowski, Relix

26. Chris Mocharla, Relix

27. Michael Urbina

28. Giovanni Hashimoto

29. Corey Harris and GerShun Avilez, A Long Walk Home

30. Henrik Hylland Uhlving