The message at this year’s Grammys was loud and clear – stop violence against women. We watched as President Obama made his proclamation to end violence against women, and challenged artists to encourage their supporters to do the same. The President spoke the truth, 1 in 5 women will be victims of rape or attempted rape, and 1 in 4 women will face violence or abuse at the hands of an intimate partner.  He claimed violence against women is not OK, and launched the White House #Itsonus campaign – because in fact, it is on us all to stop the violence.

In many songs and videos, violence against women is not only condoned but celebrated.  Following the President’s speech, Target aired a 3-minute music video ad of Imagine Dragons’ “Shot” about shooting everything they love. The President’s words were addressed to an audience that included Grammy nominees, Chris Brown, and R. Kelly.  What kind of message is being sent by saying we needed to stop the violence, while rewarding those personally involved with the violence. Violence against women is celebrated in many artists’ songs and videos. Songs and videos may demonstrate violence and the degradation of women, but these albums sell millions of downloads every day. When asking these artists to help stop the violence, what are we asking them to do?

It is time to stop violence against women, and it is time to change the stigma associated with rape and abuse. Still assault against an intimate partner is not prosecuted as harshly as assault against another associate or a stranger.  Somehow we still see domestic violence as only a family problem, but violence against women is a social and a public health issue. The President is right that in one way #Itsonus, but in another way, it is on him and on every elected official. It is on us to keep up the pressure, to make sure the Violence Against Women Act is reauthorized next year, to make sure campuses receive needed fund to keep students safe from assault, and to make sure state and local laws support adequate shelter and permanent housing for survivors of domestic violence. It IS on us – AND our elected officials – AND on popular culture heroes like musicians and athletes – to change the conversation to help eliminate violence against women.