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It’s On Us Launches New Playbook to Engage Male Student Athletes in Sexual Assault Prevention

Male college athletes will now have access to research-backed sexual assault training developed with the support of the NFL  

(WASHINGTON, DC): Today, It’s On Us launched the Playbook on Sexual Assault Prevention and Healthy Relationships for Male Athletes (Playbook), a set of unique, evidence-based campus sexual assault prevention training modules created with the support of the National Football League (NFL) for male student athletes. More than 90% of sexual assaults on campus are committed by only 5-6% of male students, who are repeat offenders. Male student athletes are leaders on campus and want to help prevent sexual assault and create a culture of consent, but are often unaware of how to be active bystanders. The Playbook engages male student athletes as part of the solution, rather than as the problem, and gives them the opportunity to learn alongside their teammates and hold each other accountable.

“Campus sexual assault prevention is a team effort that takes practice and support, just like any sport,” said Tracey Vitchers, Executive Director of It’s On Us. “From our focus groups, to research surveys, to pilot programs, we are so proud of the response we’ve seen from college teams who want to help. Our goal with the Playbook is to meet male student athletes where they are now and empower them to lead culture change on their campuses.”

The Playbook is the culmination of It’s On Us’s three major research studies over the past two years exploring how to most effectively engage college men in campus sexual assault prevention. In particular, the Playbook focuses on the overarching theme that previously existing prevention trainings are not effective, applicable or relatable to male student athletes, despite 41% of athletes reporting that they had previously received a disclosure of sexual assault or domestic violence. The Playbook fills a clear gap in training to prepare student athletes to feel empowered to take action and lead by example to prevent sexual assault on their campuses.

“The National Football League is honored to support It’s On Us in its groundbreaking work,” said NFL Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility, Anna Isaacson. “We know that resources like the Playbook will have a transformative impact on building a culture of consent on college campuses and beyond.”

Created for student athletes in partnership with student athletes, the athlete-specific modules span five distinct workshops, including:

  • The Ball is in Your Court: Consent 101: Covering sexual assault awareness and consent
  • You’re Locked In: What Are Healthy Relationships?: Defining healthy, unhealthy, and abusive relationships
  • Step Up to the Plate: Active Bystander Intervention: Training for active bystander intervention
  • Calling a Timeout: All About Breakups: Navigating breakups
  • Active Recovery: Recognizing and Healing from Trauma: Working through trauma


It’s On Us is thankful to pilot program schools and participants at SUNY Maritime, Nassau Community College, Kutztown University, Susquehanna University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Schools interested in receiving the Playbook and participating in trainings can contact It’s On Us at The Playbook and accompanying research are funded through the generous support of the National Football League as part of their ongoing work with the domestic violence and sexual assault fields.