Colleges respond to White House’s new policies on sexual assault

The White House says it wants more, detailed information from colleges about sexual assaults on campus. That’s because a disturbing number, one in five women are sexually assaulted while in college.

Of those one in five women, sexual assaults most often happen during the students’ freshman or sophomore years.

“These just aren’t numbers. these are our friends, these are our daughters, these are our neighbors, these are your classmates,” said Vice President Joe Biden.

Looking at those numbers, a 2007 campus sexual assault study says 2% of all sexual assaults on campus are reported when drugs or alcohol are involved. And 13% of forceable rape is reported by survivors.

Tuesday, the White House task force on sexual assault recommended that schools identify trained, confidential victims’ advocates.

The University of Kansas is already working with staff, faculty, and even students, explaining not only where to get help, but what the signs of sexual assault actually are.

“Having those kinds of direct conversations will make a difference. But it takes time and it’s a lot of effort, it’s a lot of work,” said Jane McQueeny, Executive Director of the Institutional Opportunity & Assault.

Last year, the institutional opportunity and access at KU received 85 complaints, 47 were for sexual harassment or assault. This year, just from January to April, they have received 49 sexual assault or harassment complaints. Most involved alcohol.

“The issue of campus sexual assault is critical for all of our colleges and universities,” said McQueeny.

For two years, KU has requires all faculty, staff and students to take sexual assault training. Because for them, it is about getting help for the victims, and trying to reduce the numbers of sexual assault cases on campus.

“We have the opportunity to change people’s ways of thinking, to make a difference, proactively instead of re-actively,” said McQueeny.

 

White House’s new website, Not Alone.

Washburn’s Policy on Sexual Assault.

KU’s information on training, Sexual Assault Help, Sexual Violence Prevention

Kansas State’s Counselling Services, How to File a Complaint, How to protect yourself

Emporia State Sexual Assault Services

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