White House Tackles Growing Problem Of Sexual Assaults On College Campuses

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Students walk near Sather Gate on the University of California at Berkeley campus. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Students walk near Sather Gate on the University of California at Berkeley campus. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (KCBS) – A White House Task Force has taken a major step forward in the battle against sexual assault on college campuses by releasing guidelines on how incidents should be handled.

The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Abuse was established earlier this year by President Obama. A series of Public Service Announcements will start airing in movie theaters next month, encouraging men to report and stop sexual violence.

The PSA campaign features President Obama, Vice President Biden, and actors Daniel Craig and Benicio Del Toro among others.

After a 90-day review period, the Task Force had a series of recommendations, calling for staff training, confidential advocates for victims, and to include guidelines for reporting grievances.

University of San Francisco Vice Provost of Student Life Peter Novak said there are a lot of resources online for both students and universities.

“The policies and procedures have never been systematized around the country. This is the first time that the government is really being very specific in its rules and regulations,” Novak said.

The report found that a campus climate survey could help schools identify the problem, and also detailed ways of implementing effective prevention programs, how to respond to such incidents, and work that needs to be done on the federal level.

UC President Janet Napolitano released a statement after the guidelines were released and said the system has already implemented the key recommendations, and that the University of California has no tolerance for sexual violence.

UC Berkeley was among the schools filing complaints about mishandled cases.

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