September 17, 2014 — President Obama and Vice President Biden on Friday will announce a White House campaign to promote awareness of sexual assault on college campuses throughout the country, the AP/U-T San Diego reports (Pickler, AP/U-T San Diego, 9/15).
The efforts come after the White House in April released guidelines designed to increase pressure on colleges to address the issue on their campuses (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/29).
Focus on Men
According to White House officials, the It's On Us campaign will challenge everyone at colleges and universities to treat preventing sexual assault as a personal responsibility, but it will particularly focus on the role of male students.
White House aides cited research that suggests men are reluctant to speak out against sexual assault because they believe that other men condone it. The aides said that Obama and Biden plan to talk about the issue as an example of how men can change those societal norms.
According to the AP/U-T San Diego, the campaign will use social media and partnerships with private organizations and colleges to reach students. The goal is to foster a culture that treats sexual assault as unacceptable and ensures that survivors get the support they need.
In addition, the Obama administration plans to release materials to support student-driven initiatives. The White House Task Force To Protect Students from Sexual Assault is expected to release model policies this month that schools can use to address the issue (AP/U-T San Diego, 9/15).