Powerful New PSA Highlights The Subtle Ways Language Reinforces Rape Culture

It's On Us wants to autocorrect the way we talk about sexual assault.

A powerful new PSA that highlights the subtle ways in which language can contribute to rape culture was released this week from the It's On Us campaign. The video follows a text exchange between two friends that details an interaction one had with a female the night before. Their casual language is autocorrected to more powerful words as it becomes increasingly more apparent that the interaction the two are discussing was non-consensual. 

When one of the friends writes "Remember that drunk chick I was talking to at the party?," the phrase changes to "Remember that drunk chick I was targeting at the party?" The conversation continues, with the words both friends uses being changed to reflect a more accurate, less forgiving portrayal of the situation.

"When we don't check ourselves and our friends who are using that type of language, we make it acceptable," It's On Us Director Rebecca Kaplan told The Huffington Post. "This is dangerous because language can make rape culture acceptable, and even perpetuate it."


It's On Us was launched in 2014 by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to end sexual assault on college campuses. According to the campaign, an estimated 1 in 5 women has been sexually assaulted on a college campus. As only 12 percent of those assaults are reported, it's worth remembering that the language used to frame those experiences affects whether an individual feels comfortable coming forward. 

Watch the full video below:


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