FOREST CITY, Iowa – The campaign is called “Not Alone” and it has some recommendations for universities to keep students safe.
One includes getting the conversation going, so assault victims, don’t feel stigmatized.
It’s a movement happening on a local level too.
“I think sexual assault on college campuses next to alcohol violations is probably the number two problem that colleges experience,” said Jason Ramaker.
Ramaker is the dean of students at Waldorf College.
He admits that sexual assaults do happen and are happening at his college and others.
And he doesn’t want to hide that fact
“I can’t say we’re exempt from the problem of sexual assaults we had so reports last couple years that that we’ve educated, so we know its happening,” said Ramaker.
That’s why the White House is addressing the issue.
They’ve officially come up with a campaign called “Not Alone”.
They’ve created a website to help students and college leaders figure out how to address sexual assaults on campus.
Heather Yeoman, Supervisor of the Sexual Assault Program at Crisis Intervention Services says getting kids to report the assault will always be the hardest part.
“Not only are you going to school with people everyday but a lot of times alcohol can be involved with things that would make an environment where victims feel like they wouldn’t be believed for this crime,” said Yeoman.
At Waldorf they make sure students don’t have to be in the same class with someone who may have assaulted them.
They also don’t ask about the victim’s past sexual history.
Those rules match up with the guidelines in place by the White House which also include allowing the victims to speak to a trained advocate in private.
“Well obviously I like that victims had a right to an advocate so I hope that is promoted as much as possible on campuses but I also like that asking colleges to look at what their procedures are and to engage in some national reporting,” said Yeoman.
It’s a campaign Ramaker is on board with and he wants to see the discussion continue.
“Absolutely I’d love to see the results of the survey of our campus and of course nationwide results of what students are saying about sexual assault,” said Ramaker.
According to Yeoman, those 18 to 34 years old are at the highest risk of being sexually assaulted.
Women are four times more likely to be assaulted while in college.