Obama announces new task force to fight campus sexual assaults

By David Ferguson
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 14:49 EDT
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Barack Obama (AFP)
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President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday that he has assembled a new task force dedicated to reducing the number of sexual assaults in the country. According to MSNBC, the action came as a response to a recent report by the White House Council on Women and Girls that said that one in five college women has been the victim of sexual violence.

The report, reads its introduction, “analyzes the most recent, reliable data about rape and sexual assault in our country,” identifies those who are most vulnerable and suggests steps to be taken on college campuses, in the military and in the general population to decrease the incidence of sexual assault in the U.S. and help the survivors.

According to the report, one in five women — nearly 22 million in the U.S. — have been subject to sexual violence in their lifetime. Men are victims as well, however, many before they are even 10 years old. Members of the LGBT community are vulnerable as well as incarcerated people of both genders.

The White House Council for Women and Girls is advocating for a change in social norms, improvements in the criminal justice system’s handling or rape cases and greater protections for students on the nation’s college campuses.

On Wednesday, the president signed the White House Task Force on Protecting Students from Sexual Assault into existence. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden plan to meet with Cabinet ministers in the coming weeks to implement and carry out the new plan.

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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