White House sets up task force to assure campus sexual assault victims they are ‘not alone’

BY Justin Scuiletti  April 29, 2014 at 2:40 PM EDT

The Obama administration Tuesday released guidelines that aim to curb sexual assaults on school campuses while helping victims.

The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault stated, in a report released Tuesday entitled “Not Alone,” that they aim to fight, prevent and bring more transparency to campus sexual assault crimes, which are currently underreported in the United States due to victims “left feeling isolated,
ashamed or to blame.”

The Task Force, created by President Barack Obama in January, seeks to change the culture and prevent assault by identifying problem areas and provide prevention programs and strategies. The goal is also to create and improve effective response systems in schools to respond to sexual assaults, which include identifying trained, confidential people a survivor can talk to, comprehensive sexual misconduct policies, trauma-informed training for school officials, improved school disciplinary systems and partnerships with community services and 24-hour help.

A new website which launched Tuesday, NotAlone.gov, will offer information to victims and provide an avenue to file a complaint.

“Colleges and universities need to face the facts about sexual assault – no more turning a blind eye or pretending it doesn’t exist,” said Vice President Joe Biden. “We need to give victims the support they need – like a confidential place to go – and we need to bring the perpetrators to justice.”