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The White House is taking new actions to combat sexual assault, particularly on college campuses, as President Barack Obama announced a new task force to help educational institutions prevent and respond to sexual violence as well as beef up the ability of federal agencies to hold schools accountable if they aren’t addressing problems, NBC News reports.
Obama called all sexual assaults “an affront on our basic decency and humanity,” adding that the victimization of college students is an “affront to everything they’ve worked so hard to achieve.”
Obama met with dozens of administration officials Wednesday to discuss ways to stem sexual violence nationwide, including prosecution reforms, increased resources for victims and an effort to “change the culture” around assaults, NBC reports.
The president also reiterated his expectation of “significant progress” in the Pentagon’s initiative to stem sexual assaults in the military.
A new report published Wednesday by the White House Council on Women and Girls says that one in five women are sexually assaulted while in college, but only about 12 percent of victims report the assault. Perpetrators were found to often be repeat offenders. Throughout the country, minorities and young people are particularly at risk of sexual assault.