WASHINGTON – Today, the White House Task Force to protect students from sexual assault released a report that includes results from 27 listening sessions over the last three months as well as recommendations on best practices for colleges to address sexual assault. With one in five women being sexually assaulted while in college, these efforts are long overdue. NOW applauds the White House Task Force’s recommendations and the new resource, NotAlone.gov, as a first major step to preventing sexual assaults on college campuses, and calls on Congress to take action quickly to address this issue.
The Task Force’s recommendations have a goal to: help schools identify the problem, prevent sexual assaults, have schools respond effectively to sexual assaults and make Federal enforcement efforts more transparent. Lawmakers, including Rep. Jackie Speier (D. Calif.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D. N.Y.) are already preparing legislation to implement helpful proposals.
For too long, colleges across the country have been brushing this issue under the rug, and not offering enough support for sexual assault victims. NOW encourages every college to take advantage of this opportunity to create a more supportive system for victims, and, more importantly, take measures to prevent an attack on their students. Students (and their parents) should not have to fear for their safety or their college’s willingness to provide meaningful support to victims and hold rapists accountable for their crimes.