White House Provides Path Forward in Combating Campus Sexual Assaults

Recommendations include an annual student survey on sexual assault and a new website detailing different schools’ history with sexual violence.

Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington on February 18, 2014. One of nine in-person listening sessions, the meeting brings together student advocates, survivors and educators who are working to improve sexual assault policies and procedures at their schools.
National Journal
Sarah Mimms
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Sarah Mimms
April 29, 2014, 2 a.m.

The White House on Tues­day will re­lease re­com­mend­a­tions from its Task Force to Pro­tect Stu­dents from Sexu­al As­sault, the first in a series of pro­pos­als from the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion to com­bat the epi­dem­ic of rapes on col­lege cam­puses.

Seni­or ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials pre­viewed the re­com­mend­a­tions in a call with re­port­ers on Monday even­ing, not­ing that the pro­pos­als are the res­ult of 90 days of talks with col­leges of all sizes and stripes, as well as ad­min­is­trat­ors, stu­dents, par­ents, ad­voc­ates, law en­force­ment, and vic­tims.

The re­port is just the first step that the ad­min­is­tra­tion is tak­ing to com­bat sexu­al as­saults on col­lege cam­puses. One in 5 col­lege wo­men are sexu­ally as­saul­ted dur­ing their col­lege ca­reer, most of­ten dur­ing the first two years of school and most of­ten by a per­son they know, one of­fi­cial said, cit­ing a 2007 sur­vey. “This is not a wo­man’s is­sue, in the sense that it is ours alone to fix,” the of­fi­cial said, call­ing the re­port an “im­port­ant step for­ward.”

The re­com­mend­a­tions in­clude the launch of a new web­site, NotAlone.gov, which will provide in­form­a­tion on loc­al rape crisis ser­vices and the his­tory of sexu­al vi­ol­ence at vari­ous in­sti­tu­tions of high­er learn­ing. “[It’s a] very poignant name for us be­cause we heard from so many sur­viv­ors who said they felt alone,” one seni­or ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial said.

Per­haps most sig­ni­fic­antly, the task force is also bor­row­ing a re­com­mend­a­tion from Con­gress that has the sup­port of mem­bers in both cham­bers. Un­der that pro­pos­al, uni­versit­ies will be en­cour­aged to con­duct so-called “cli­mate sur­veys” an­nu­ally to get more data on the pre­val­ence of cam­pus sexu­al as­saults and at­ti­tudes that stu­dents hold to­wards rape, and to find out wheth­er stu­dents are aware of how to get coun­sel­ing and oth­er ser­vices. The an­onym­ous sur­veys, which have already had some suc­cess in the mil­it­ary, would be vol­un­tary for col­leges and uni­versit­ies to be­gin with, but ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials hope to make them man­dat­ory by 2016.

Ad­di­tion­al re­com­mend­a­tions in­clude im­prov­ing train­ing for cam­pus of­fi­cials and health care work­ers and cre­at­ing a mod­el to help uni­versit­ies deal with sexu­al as­saults while pro­tect­ing the con­fid­en­ti­al­ity of vic­tims.

One of­fi­cial said that the uni­versit­ies par­ti­cip­at­ing in the task force’s listen­ing tour showed a “tre­mend­ous” amount of sup­port for the pro­cess. “We think [these re­com­mend­a­tions] will be wel­comed by schools,” the of­fi­cial said.

The White House will of­fi­cially un­veil the task force’s re­com­mend­a­tions at an event on Tues­day. Sens. Kirsten Gil­librand, D-N.Y., and Claire Mc­Caskill, D-Mo., who have been strong ad­voc­ates for pre­vent­ing sexu­al as­saults in both the mil­it­ary and in col­lege set­tings, are slated to at­tend. Both sen­at­ors are sup­port­ive of the task force’s re­com­mend­a­tions, ac­cord­ing to a seni­or ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cial.

What We're Following See More »
DOCUMENTS OBTAINED BY U.S. INTEL
Putin-Linked Think Tank Developed Plan to Influence U.S. Election
3 days ago
THE LATEST

A Russian government think tank run by Putin loyalists "developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system." Two confidential documents from the Putin-backed Institute for Strategic Studies, obtained by U.S. intelligence, provide "the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election."

Source:
HELPED WIN FISA APPROVAL
FBI Relied on Dossier Allegations to Monitor Page
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification" to monitor Carter Page, who was then a defense adviser to the Trump campaign. "The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks."

Source:
AIR FORCE SCRAMBLES JETS IN RESPONSE
Russian Bombers Fly Near Alaska
4 days ago
WHY WE CARE
A MESSAGE TO RUSSIA?
Pentagon Deploying F-35s to Europe
1 weeks ago
THE LATEST

"The Air Force is set to deploy its high-tech, fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets to Europe this weekend as part of an effort to assure U.S. allies there who are worried about Russian aggression." The new, state-of-the-art fighters will train with European air units. "The Pentagon noted that the deployment had been long planned, meaning it was not a reaction to recent increasing tensions between the United States and Russia," although a statement noted the move is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," which began three years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.

Source:
NOT ON SCHEDULE
Tillerson Meets Putin
1 weeks ago
BREAKING
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login