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Addressing sexual violence on campus

Here's a fact: One in five women in America have been sexually assaulted. That's an unacceptable statistic—and President Obama has made addressing it a priority. That's why he called together the Council on Women and Girls—headed up by Vice President Biden and Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett—and established the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault late last month.

This task force is a first-of-its-kind federal effort, aimed at developing a "coordinated federal response to campus rape and sexual assault." The task force—which includes several Cabinet members—will work to provide educational institutions with tools for preventing and responding to incidents of sexual assault.

At the unveiling event for the task force, President Obama explained why he's invested in this effort:

I’ve often said in my travels around the world: You can judge a nation, and how successful it will be, based on how it treats its women and its girls. Those nations that are successful, they're successful in part because women and girls are valued. And I’m determined that, by that measure, the United States of America will be the global leader.
The President isn't alone in his efforts: Students at college campuses across the country have been making sexual assault prevention a priority for years. During Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, campuses come together with events focusing on educating members of the community on sexual violence, and honoring the survivors of sexual violence.

Just last month, students at the University of Virginia unveiled the Handprint Project—a campaign aimed at curbing sexual assault on fraternity bid night by encouraging brothers at each fraternity to pledge their role as active bystanders (people who look out for one another and, if they see something wrong, take steps to respond) by stamping their handprint in blue on a large poster. The College of William and Mary recently made news by starting a project where students and faculty come together to share notes of support on Facebook to victims of sexual assault. Purdue University also started an innovative initiative for Indiana colleges—named the Indiana Campus Sexual Assault Primary Prevention Project—aimed at preventing sexual assault by providing mini-grants to support efforts on Indiana campuses, training, technical assistance, and coalition building.

OFA is following the President's lead: We launched the Stand with Women campaign to fight for a fair shot for women and families.

If you're ready to join the fight in your community, join the Stand with Women campaign today.

I'm in

And if you or someone you know has had an experience with sexual violence, know you're never alone. If you need help now, don't hesitate: Check out the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network's resources, including a 24/7 crisis support hotline for victims of sexual assault, their friends, and families:
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