White House Tells Colleges How to Deal With Rape

Task force presents university guidelines, launches website
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2014 10:12 AM CDT
White House Tells Colleges How to Deal With Rape
President Barack Obama speaks at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig city, outside of Manila, Philippines, Tuesday, April 29, 2014.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The White House has pulled together its two cents on how US colleges should step up their fight against rape, with an Obama administration task force yesterday issuing guidelines for action. Among them: survey students anonymously on sexual assault, do a better job of keeping reported assaults confidential, and teach witnesses how to intervene. President Obama, Joe Biden, and celebrities will appear in a PSA "to help enlist men as allies," the report says, per the Washington Post. For now, the guidelines are just recommendations, but the New York Times expects the White House to call on Congress to pass legislation that would make them enforceable.

Biden says it's time to stop "turning a blind eye" to sexual assault, which the task force says 20% of female students experience. Only 12% of those crimes are reported, however, the report adds. In tandem with the report, the White House has launched NotAlone.gov, which "will help students wade through often complicated legal definitions and concepts, and point them toward people who can give them confidential advice—and those who can't." (The president of Dartmouth recently confronted the "extreme behavior "at his institution.)

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