Not Alone: Initial Report Released from White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault
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.
On April 29, 2014, 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.