White House takes action against sexual assault

Originally published in The Mooring Mast May 2, 2014

One White House Task Force is beginning to make a national impression on combatting sexual assault in the collegiate world. President Barack Obama established Protect Students from Sexual Assault in January to address the issue of such violence on campuses.

The Department of Education released a report Tuesday giving colleges guidance on how to respond to sexual violence on campus, according to a press release. The report focuses on preventing sexual violence, responding effectively when an attacker assaults a student and improving the effectiveness and transparency of federal government enforcement efforts.

As part of the transparency effort, the department dedicated a website to make enforcement data public and to compile resources for students and schools, NotAlone.gov.

The department also created a chart clarifying how federal laws such as Title IX, the Clery Act and FERPA intersect.

Ray Lader, the associate director for Student Rights and Responsibilities, said PLU is in a good place with the work it has been doing to confront sexual assault.

“This [the report] will just help us continue to hone and improve the services and processes we use to deal with these horrible situations,” Lader said. “I know as we work to prepare for the future, we will be using this report to help frame our continued goal of addressing sexual assault.”

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden also launched a series of public service announcements Tuesday featuring male celebrities speaking out against sexual assault, according to a White House press release.

In one clip, actor Benicio Del Toro opens with, “We have a big problem, and we need your help.”

Actor Steve Carell later says, “It’s a crime. It’s wrong.”

Obama makes an appearance in the video as well, saying, “It’s up to all of us to put an end to sexual assault.”

The short videos are in coordination with the 1 is 2 Many campaign, an initiative Biden launched in 2011 to prevent violence against women.


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