President Barack Obama is making sexual assaults on college campuses a top priority. The White House released a report Wednesday citing lifelong health effects for victims of rape and saying that “1 in 5 women have been sexually assaulted at college but that only 12 percent of student victims report the assault,” the Associated Press reports:
The report says rape’s prevalence is highest at college, fueled by drinking and drug use that can incapacitate victims. Obama is giving the task force of administration officials 90 days to come up with recommendations for colleges to prevent and respond to sexual assault, increase public awareness of each school’s track record and enhance coordination among federal agencies to hold schools accountable if they don’t confront the problem.
Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, chair of the Council on Women and Girls, said men must be involved to combat the problem and the president wants to lead a cultural shift of men speaking out. “The president is committed to solving this problem, not just as president of the United States, but as a father of two girls” who will soon be heading to college, Jarrett said in an interview.
The report also declares that the criminal justice response to sexual assault is too often inadequate and lays out a goal of increasing arrest, prosecution and conviction rates without any specific targets. The report blames police bias and a lack of training to investigate and prosecute sex crimes for low arrest rates and says the federal government should promote training and help police increase testing of DNA evidence collected from victims.
Now if only they can do something about the universities that attempt to cover up the rapes that occur on campus. Also, hopefully this report and the universities will realize that a person doesn’t get raped because they had a drink, a person gets raped because the man/woman decided to be a rapist. The blame needs to be taken off of the victim. Victim blaming has a large impact on why a person chooses not to report a rape.