It's On Us, Initiatives, Press Release

It’s On Us Announces Partnership with Snap Inc. to Increase Safety at Colleges Across the Country

It’s On Us, a leading organization to combat campus sexual assault, launched a new partnership with Snapchat to increase awareness of the ways young people can stay safe and prevent campus sexual assault

(Washington, D.C.): Today, It’s On Us and Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, announced a new partnership to remind young people to help one another stay safe online and in real life, and combat campus sexual assault. Together, It’s On Us and Snap. are activating the It’s On Us student network, sharing a new educational PSA and announcing a new safety feature on Snapchat’s popular Snap Map. 

While many students continue to return to campus after the latest COVID-19 surge, campuses are enacting limitations on gatherings, leading many students to take their parties off-campus. This dynamic impacts what’s known as the “red zone” on college campuses, the time period between move-in and Thanksgiving break when the majority of sexual assaults (more than 50%) occur. The gender equity community warned that the nation could see a “double red zone” this school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and many sophomores and freshmen being on campus for the first time after learning virtually. Unfortunately, they were right. When campuses reopened in the Fall of 2021, there was a surge of sexual assaults. 

To help keep students safe on and off on campus, Snapchat is introducing a new safety feature to its Snap Map. This new tool will allow Snapchatters to temporarily share their real-time location with a close friend or family member whether they are on their way to meet up or on their way home at night. 

“It’s On Us is thrilled to work with Snapchat in the fight to create a safer space for students across the country. Studies show that 1 in 5 students will experience sexual assault during their time in college. Our partnership with Snapchat will provide students with the tools and resources they need to create a safe experience both online and in real life,” said Tracey Vitchers, Executive Director of It’s On Us. 

This new feature includes several safety elements, such as: 

  • On the spot & intentional activation so Snapchatters can share their location in an instant, and only with individual friends. There is no option to send their real-time location details to all of their Snapchat friends.
  • Mandatory mutual friendship meaning that both parties have to accept each other as friends on Snapchat before they can share their location, keeping in line with our existing Snap Map policies. 
  • Educational pop-up when Snapchatters first use the feature reminding them that this tool is meant to be used with close friends and family.
  • Transparent design with reminders in Profiles and Chat ensuring Snapchatters always have a clear understanding of who can see their location.
  • Limited time-sharing & notification-free pausing minimizing the risk of stalking or undue pressure to constantly share. 

Snapchat is also expanding its in-app resource portal, Here For You, to include a new It’s On Us PSA focused on increasing bystander awareness and urging their Snapchatters to look out for one another, sign the pledge, and get home safe.

Since its launch in 2014, It’s On Us chapters have held over 6,000 educational programs on more than 500 college campuses in all 50 States and 440,000 people have taken the It’s On Us Pledge to stop sexual assault. It’s On Us provides free educational tools focused on sexual assault prevention, bystander intervention, consent and healthy relationships, and survivor support. 

It’s On Us is the only program of its kind to combine grassroots organizing with high-impact culture change campaigns through partnerships with media outlets, creative agencies, and influencers, reaching millions of young people with critical information on campus sexual assault prevention. Most recently, It’s On Us partnered with pro skateboarder Tony Hawk on the release of a #CollegeReorientation video to educate students as they returned to campus for the fall semester.