Campus Violence Against Women

White House Campus Sexual Assault Task Force Releases First Report

The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault released its first report today, detailing steps the Task Force will take to identify the scope of the problem of sexual assault on college campuses, help prevent it, and support survivors on college campuses.

via Shutterstock
via Shutterstock

“The Administration is committed to putting an end to this violence,” the fact sheet for the report says.

To compile “Not Alone: The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault,” The Task Force used recommendations it gathered from a wide variety of people during a 90-day review period.

To help schools identify the extent of the problem on their campuses, the Task Force will provide them with toolkits for conducting a survey about the campus climate around sexual assault. “As we know, campus sexual assault is chronically underreported – so victim reports don’t provide a fair measure of the problem,” the report says. “A campus climate survey, however, can.”

Among other actions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women will pilot and evaluate sexual assault prevention strategies on campuses. The Task Force will provide specialized training for school officials and give schools guidance on how to improve their investigative and adjudicative protocols. It will also make federal enforcement efforts more transparent and clear with the launch of a new website:

President Obama created the Task Force in January and released an initial report that found 1 in 5 women have been sexually assaulted in college, but only 12 percent of student victims report the assault. The most recent report comes at a time when dozens of schools have been placed under federal investigation for mishandling sexual assault cases on campus.

TAKE ACTION: To get involved in preventing sexual assault on your campus, check out Feminist Majority Foundation’s Feminist Campus Campaign to End Campus Sexual Violence.

Media Resources: The White House; Feminist Newswire 3/6/14, 4/18/14

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