Campus Crosshair: Sexual Assault Chronically Under Reported 

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In April, President Barack Obama enlisted the help of famous men to help fight sexual assault against women. Steve Carell, Daniel Craig and Benicio Del Toro, to name a few, joined Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in an advertisement as part of the “1 is 2 Many” campaign. The men in the ads direct their words to other men and state, “If she doesn’t consent, or if she can’t consent, it’s rape. It’s assault. It’s a crime.”

The campaign comes at a time when 37.4 percent of female rape victims were first raped between the ages of 18 and 24, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control. College campuses continue to be in the crosshairs for fighting assault as one in five women are sexually assaulted during college, the White House reports. Obama’s campaign, which encourages men to be part of the solution, is in tandem with the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.

The task force stated in April that “campus sexual assault is chronically underreported.” To combat this, the task force is providing schools with toolkits to survey the prevalence of sexual assault on campus. The task force is also considering legislation to mandate that schools utilize these toolkits.

Schools are also part of reducing sexual assault and are required to meet specific requirements under Title IX. Under the law, schools must do the following: be proactive in ensuring that campuses are free of sexual discrimination, have established procedures for examining sexual assault complaints and taking action to help students who have been assaulted continue their education. Also under the law, schools cannot retaliate against assaulted students or discourage them from continuing their education.

For more information on your Title IX rights, check out the Know Your IX organization at knowyourix.org.

The final players in preventing sexual assault are students. The White House task force stresses the importance of bystander intervention. If you see something happening, intervene.

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