The White House plans to announce new measures to deal with campus sexual assault, an issue that was recently addresses by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on the steps of Columbia University.
It is estimated that one in five female students will be sexually assaulted while they are at college. Many have argued that colleges do not do enough to protect victims and work to ensure justice. Students from schools across the country told stories of college administrators who embarrassed them, did not take reports seriously or did not adequately report them.
A task force headed by Vice President Joe Biden came up with several measures to be included in recommendations for college campuses, including publicizing enforcement data, issuing guidelines about confidentiality, and requiring colleges and universities to survey students on their experiences with sexual assault.
“Colleges and universities need to face the facts about sexual assault,” Biden said in a statement Monday night. “No more turning a blind eye or pretending it doesn’t exist. ... And we need to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
In addition to this report, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will release recommendations on how to prevent sexual violence, particularly on how to get bystanders to step in when students are at risk of assault.
The federal government will also address the issue of maintaining the victim’s confidentiality while campus official conduct an investigation.
A website, NotAlone.gov, will be unveiled to make each school’s enforcement data public, and to publish information about student rights and resources.
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