Pella Chronicle

Community News Network

April 29, 2014

White House report calls for campus violence surveys by 2016

LOS ANGELES — A White House task force called for U.S. colleges to conduct mandatory surveys to reveal the frequency of sexual assault on their campuses and student attitudes toward such misconduct.

The Obama administration will provide colleges with sample questions and other materials to develop the surveys, according to a report released late Monday by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. Officials will seek ways to require all colleges to conduct sexual-assault surveys by 2016, the report said.

College students across the country have formed campus groups and filed federal complaints, saying that their schools, law enforcement officials and government agencies aren't responding effectively to sexual misconduct. Members of the task force, formed by President Barack Obama in January, met with more than 2,000 people to understand the problem and begin developing recommendations, senior administration officials said Monday in a teleconference with reporters.

"We are here to tell sexual-assault survivors that they are not alone," the task force said in the report. "And we're also here to help schools live up to their obligation to protect students from sexual violence."

One in five women will be sexually assaulted during her college years, and men are also sometimes victims of sexual aggression, according to the report. Still, the extent of the campus problem and how schools respond to it remains poorly understood, and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and a former prosecutor, has begun surveying hundreds of schools on their policies and practices.

"Everybody needs to be all-in on this fight," McCaskill, who plans to hold hearings on campus sexual assault later this year, said in an e-mailed statement. "I look forward to working closely with the White House on legislation to better protect our students and ensure perpetrators aren't getting a free pass."

Dozens of schools have been hit with student complaints that their schools have violated Title IX, the law that bars gender discrimination in education, by failing to prevent and respond to campus sexual violence and harassment. The Education Department will provide new guidance to clarify its rules, and institute time limits for forming agreements with schools accused of violations, the task force said in the report.

Students need more information about how to protect themselves and whether their schools are under investigation for violations of Title IX, according to the report. The administration will create a new website, NotAlone.gov, that will provide such data and help students who have been assaulted find services, the task force said.

"We want to hold the Education Department accountable without harming investigations or risking the safety of students," said Annie Clark, a former University of North Carolina undergraduate who helped build a network of college students raising awareness and activism on sexual assault.

The administration also is issuing new guidance intended to give more options to students who want to seek services for sexual assault without filing a report that would trigger an investigation, the task force said. Many colleges have designated most or all of their personnel who respond to sexual assault as mandatory reporters, to ensure that victims' cases are dealt with.

Schools should ensure that there are some staff who assault victims can speak with confidentially and "make it clear, up front, who on campus can maintain a victim's confidence and who can't - so a victim can make informed decisions about where best to turn," the task force said.

It urged schools to use sexual-assault prevention programs that enlist bystanders, both men and women, to recognize situations where women may be vulnerable to sexual assault and personally intervene. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will be featured in public service announcements pointing out that having sex with someone who doesn't consent to it is a crime, the task force said.

"Colleges and universities need to face the facts about sexual assault," Biden said in a statement. "No more turning a blind eye or pretending it doesn't exist."

This year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Education and Justice departments will form a panel of experts to identify more prevention practices, according to the report. The Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women also is funding the development of prevention programs, the report said.

The administration will provide a number of tools to help schools understand their obligations and promote proven techniques, the task force said. The Justice Department will develop a training program for campus investigators by September, and the Education Department will provide information for those dealing with traumatized assault victims by December, according to the report.

 

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 21, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 21, 2014

  • Starved Pennsylvania 7-year-old weighed only 25 pounds

    A 7-year-old Pennsylvania boy authorities described as being so underweight he looked like a human skeleton has been released from the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet

    It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.
    For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.

    July 18, 2014

  • A quarter of the world's most educated people live in the 100 largest cities

    College graduates are increasingly sorting themselves into high-cost, high-amenity cities such as Washington, New York, Boston and San Francisco, a phenomenon that threatens to segregate us across the country by education.

    July 18, 2014

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 18, 2014

  • Facebook tests button to let people shop from its website

    Members on desktop computers or mobile devices can click a "buy" button to make purchases through advertisements or other posts on the world's largest social network, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post.

    July 17, 2014

  • The terrible history of passenger planes getting shot out of the sky

    What is more clear is that, if initial reports are true, this would be the deadliest incident of a civilian passenger plane being shot down in modern memory. In some instances, the causes of the disaster are still shrouded in mystery. Here are some of the worst events.

    July 17, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • web_starbucks-cof_big_ce.jpg Starbucks sees more Apple-like stores after Colombia debut

    This week Starbucks opened its first location in Colombia — a 2,700-square-foot store with a heated patio, concrete columns, mirrors on the ceiling and walls of colorful plants.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

Features
Facebook
AP Video
UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism Native American Teens Get Taste of College Legendary Actor James Garner Dies Ukraine Rebels: Black Boxes Will Be Returned Recording May Show Attempt at Crash Cover-up
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Obituaries