Local Colleges Review Push To Stop Sex Assaults

By Matt Lupoli | mlupoli@kolr10.com

Published 04/29 2014 09:55PM

Updated 04/29 2014 10:34PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A new White House report shows one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college.

"These just aren't numbers, these are our friends, our daughters, our neighbors, your classmates," Vice President Joe Biden said about the administration's Not Alone report.

"It's up to all of us to put an end to sexual assault," President Barack Obama said in a public service announcement about the initiative. 

The White House recommends universities provide better training for victim's advocates, ensure victims' identities remain confidential, work to encourage more reporting -- since most campus assaults go unreported -- and carry out better investigations.

"It's a devastating problem," Missouri State Dean of Students Mike Jungers said. "It's more prevalent among students who attend colleges and university than their peers who do not attend."

Jungers said the report's road map in the fight against sex assault could bring necessary awareness to the often underreported problem.

"We're not novices or new to this but we are in the process right now of revising our code so that everything we need to do is not only in our heads but in writing."

Jungers said MSU sororities, fraternities and other groups have already made strides to prevent sex crimes and their stigma.

"GAMMA, which is Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol, is restructuring and I just learned last night that they are going to have a director for sexual assault prevention," Jungers said.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, a former sex crimes prosecutor who led an effort for military reform regarding sex assault cases, praised the Not Alone effort Tuesday.

"Everybody needs to be all-in on this fight," McCaskill said in a statement.

The recommendations are just that now, but they could be made mandatory by 2016.

The White House also launched a website, notalone.gov, with resources for victims and advocates.

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