One in five women is sexually assaulted while in college. Most often, it happens her freshman or sophomore year. In the great majority of cases, it’s by someone she knows – and also most often, she does not report what happened. And though fewer, men, too, are victimized.
The Administration is committed to putting an end to this violence. That’s why the President established the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault on January 22, 2014, with a mandate to strengthen federal enforcement efforts and provide schools with additional tools to combat sexual assault on their campuses.
Today, the Task Force is announcing a series of actions to: (1) identify the scope of the problem on college campuses, (2) help prevent campus sexual assault, (3) help schools respond effectively when a student is assaulted, and (4) improve, and make more transparent, the federal government’s enforcement efforts. We will continue to pursue additional executive or legislative actions in the future.
These steps build on the Administration’s previous work  to combat sexual assault. The Task Force formulated its recommendations  after a 90-day review period during which it heard from thousands of people from across the country -- via 27 online and in-person listening sessions and written comments from a wide variety of stakeholders.
Helping Schools Identify the Problem: Climate Surveys
As we know, campus sexual assault is chronically underreported – so victim reports don’t provide a fair measure of the problem. A campus climate survey, however, can. So, today:
Preventing Sexual Assault – and Bringing in the Bystander
The college years are formative for many students. If we implement effective prevention programs, today’s students will leave college knowing that sexual assault is simply unacceptable. And that, in itself, can create a sea change.
Helping Schools Respond Effectively When A Student is Sexually Assaulted: Confidentiality, Training, Better Investigations, and Community Partnerships
By law, schools that receive federal funds are obliged to protect students from sexual assault. It is the Task Force’s mission to help schools meet not only the letter, but the spirit, of that obligation. And that can mean a number of things – from giving a victim a confidential place to turn for advice and support, to providing specialized training for school officials, to effectively investigating and finding out what happened, to sanctioning the perpetrator, to doing everything we can to help a survivor recover.
Improving and Making More Transparent Federal Enforcement Efforts
To better address sexual assault at our nation’s schools, the federal government needs to both strengthen our enforcement efforts and increase coordination among responsible agencies. Importantly, we also need to improve communication with survivors, parents, school administrators, faculty, and the public, by making our efforts more transparent.
The action steps highlighted in this report are the initial phase of an ongoing plan and commitment to putting an end to this violence on campuses. We will continue to work toward solutions, clarity, and better coordination. We will review the legal frameworks surrounding sexual assault for possible regulatory or statutory improvements, and seek new resources to enhance enforcement. Campus law enforcement agencies have special expertise- and they, too, should be tapped to play a more central role. And we will also consider how our recommendations apply to public elementary and secondary schools – and what more we can do to help there.
To read original statement, visit this White House link .