Task force announces initiatives to prevent sexual assault on campus

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One in every five women is sexually assaulted while in college – startling statistics that have many calling for change.

“These are our daughters, these are our neighbors, and these are classmates,” said vice president Joe Biden in a Tuesday news conference, where federal officials announced a series of new initiatives to help prevent sexual assault on campus.

The task force announced its recommendations, announcing a series of actions to:

-identify the scope of the problem on college campuses

-help prevent campus sexual assault

-help schools respond effectively when a student is assaulted

-improve, and make more transparent, the federal government’s enforcement efforts.

For students at IUPUI, it’s welcome news.

“I think it’s awesome,” said student Kristen Bayha. “I think it’s good they’re trying to protect us.”

“I think it’s very important,” said Julia Lash, the co-coordinator for IUPUI’s sexual assault prevention task force. “I think it means a lot more talking about it up front, a lot more willingness to talk about bad behavior to talk about assault to talk about the consequences.”

“We’re excited that at the national level, people are starting to pay attention to the statistics and the need for being able to provide some guidance and assistance to people,” said Jessica White with the Indiana Coalition against Sexual Assault.

“We need to take the lead and get going,” said state Rep. Christina Hale, D-Indianapolis, who authored legislation this year dealing with unreported sexual assaults amongst high schoolers. Next year, Hale wants to see the state do more to help college students too.

“We want to highlight this issue because it’s every parent’s worst fear, when they send their child to college and to have something awful happen,” said Hale. “This is just not acceptable.”