Target: Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education
Goal: Applaud the creation of a federal list targeting colleges for improvement in sexual assault policy
Sexual assault cases go unreported too often on college campuses. Out of the nearly 20 percent of female college students who have been sexually assaulted, only 12 percent of cases are reported, according to an investigation by a White House task force on sexual assault. Many women fear that their cases will be made public, which drives underreporting of this horrific crime. Applaud the Department of Education for refusing to let their voices go unheard.
The federal government has stepped up its efforts to combat sexual assault on college campuses. Hoping to encourage transparency and raise awareness of civil rights, the Department of Education has put forth a list of 55 U.S. college and university campuses undergoing investigation for mishandling sexual assault cases. Containing Ivy-League institutions as well as large public universities and smaller schools, the list seeks to hold accountable universities receiving federal funds for violating Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments, which bans gender discrimination.
With this timely and somewhat unorthodox move, the federal government is joining the calls of student activists across the country demanding better treatment of sexual assault victims. Supplementing what may be seen as a condemnatory list, the White House sexual assault task force has also issued recommendations for ways colleges can improve their response to sexual assault cases, namely through reinforcing confidentiality in the community, implementing bystander training programs, and conducting standardized routine surveys of assaults.
By signing the petition below, you can show your support of this crucial move toward safer college and university campuses nationwide.
Dear Secretary Duncan,
I am writing to thank you for your efforts to change the way college campuses handle sexual assault cases. The recent list of 55 campuses under investigation for mishandling sexual assault cases put forth by your department marks a timely and unique move toward inducing schools to improve their responses to reports of violence.
Your leadership is helping to establish a better framework for protecting victims of this horrific crime. With this list, you have taken a firm stance against gender discrimination, seeing to it that the law brings perpetrators of such violence to justice. By working to promote transparency and raise awareness of civil rights, you are ensuring that the voices of sexual assault victims do not go unheard.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Patrickneil via Wikimedia Commons