White House to address college sexual assaults

The White House will be issuing a set of recommendations for colleges and universities about the issue of campus sexual assaults.
April 28, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
A White House task force is now weighing in on the issue of sexual assault on the nation's college campus. On Tuesday they'll be releasing a set of recommendations. UC Berkeley is already facing a lawsuit concerning how the university handles complaints of sexual assault.

The White House says it's time for colleges and universities, like Cal, to stop ignoring the problem. It says one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college, usually in the first two years and usually by someone she knows.

The white house task force on college campus sexual assault is recommending schools train bystanders to intervene, strengthen the confidentiality on sexual assault reports, provide services to survivors and conduct a survey to measure student awareness on how to report sexual violence.

"I think it's a long time coming. I don't know why in the hell it's taken so long, honestly," said Kelly Leilani Main from Art for Social Change.

A campus organization called Art For Social Change is pushing this issue at UC Berkeley with art and poetry.

"I think there's a growing concern of male students for their female friends. I think things like this not only bring awareness but make them aware of their action and their ways to change it and make the situation better," said Cal sophomore Krista Kurisaki.

UC Berkeley is facing a federal lawsuit filed by a group of students who say they were sexually assaulted and ignored by the school. Since February the school has added two investigators, a health advisor and a police resource specialist to offer more guidance.

"There's a lot of suffering and there's a lot of unnecessary pain," said Cal senior Shreya Shankar.

The White House also is unveiling a website called NotAlone.gov that will make each school's enforcement data public.

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