Not Alone: Initial Report Released from White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault
As you know, on January 22, 2014, via executive memorandum, President Barack Obama established the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. The aim of the task force was to create “an inter-agency effort to address campus rape and sexual assault, including coordinating Federal enforcement efforts by executive departments and agencies (agencies) and helping institutions meet their obligations under Federal law.” The task force was charged with an initial report in 90 days.
During the “listening” phase of the task force’s work, ACHA leaders participated in two listening sessions organized by the White House to collect public input. Additionally, ACHA sent a letter to the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women affirming the association’s interests in prevention of sexual assault, offering support to the effort from content experts, and providing ACHA-NCHA related survey data. This was followed by a direct conference call with the White House Task Force staff on April 2, 2014, to elaborate on earlier information provided and address the task force’s specific questions from the college health perspective.
Today, the White House Task Force released its initial report, Not Alone, which begins to address identification of the problem, prevention of sexual assault, responding effectively when a student is assaulted, and increasing transparency and improving enforcement.
Additionally, the report announces a new website, NotAlone.gov, as a resource for students, victims, and schools. Also available is the Department of Education’s posted frequently asked questions and answers on Title IX and sexual violence.
ACHA is pleased to see progress on this important issue and pledges its continued support and engagement as the federal government continues its quest to identify solutions, provide clarity, and improve coordination nationwide to bring an end to sexual violence on campuses. We look forward to supporting the work of our members on campuses across the nation through advocacy, education, and research supporting relevant areas such as best practices in prevention, trauma-informed training for health center staff, and further clarification regarding confidentiality requirements. We encourage your involvement by contacting our Campus Safety and Violence Coalition.
Also see this White House fact sheet for summarized information.