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The White House
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release

FACT SHEET: Resource Guide and Recent Efforts to Combat Sexual Violence on College and University Campuses

This month marks the 21st anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). President Obama and Vice President Biden have built upon VAWA’s legacy by committing their Administration to rooting out sexual and domestic violence wherever they exist—especially when these crimes affect our nation’s students. Today, the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault (“Task Force”) released a Resource Guide to support the efforts of students, faculty, administrators, and communities around the country to prevent sexual violence and improve the response to it at colleges and universities. The Resource Guide compiles guidance, tools, model policies and procedures, training and technical assistance, funding opportunities, and public messaging materials that the Obama Administration and external stakeholders have produced concerning campus sexual assault. 

Later today, Vice President Biden will deliver remarks at the Ohio State University about the importance of preventing sexual assault on college and university campuses across the country. The event will highlight the It’s On Us public awareness and bystander intervention campaign, which seeks to engage students and all members of campus communities in changing the culture to prevent sexual assault.

Today’s event in Ohio and the release of the Task Force’s Resource Guide are part of the Administration’s continued fight against sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. Over the last six years, the President and Vice President have led the way in tackling these problems everywhere, from college and university campuses to the military to tribal lands and beyond.

Resource Guide

The following resources and sample language documents are intended to be informative and flexible, and to be adapted to address the unique circumstances and needs of distinct campus communities. A “one size fits all” approach is not intended; and ultimately, school policies and programs will vary, reflecting the diverse characteristics, structures, and experiences of each school, as well as differences in state and local legal requirements. Additionally, the resources are neither exhaustive nor exclusive and do not constitute legal advice. As several of the Task Force resources already make clear, the information contained in these resources is illustrative and not a statement of Federal requirements. Finally, the resources below include several links to information from nongovernmental sources. Inclusion in this guide does not indicate endorsement by the Task Force of these entities or materials, nor does the information contained therein necessarily reflect the official views of the U.S. government.

September Snapshot: Recent Administration Efforts to Combat Sexual Violence on College and University Campuses

  • Today, the Task Force announces the release of Safe Place: Trauma-Sensitive Practice for Health Centers Serving Students, a resource kit for campus health centers.  This set of training materials was developed by the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments Technical Assistance Center for the U.S. Department of Education.  It is designed to foster the development of campus health center environments that are rooted in an understanding of trauma and responsive to the needs of all students, especially survivors of sexual assault.  The resource kit provides health center managers and staff with concrete materials to understand trauma, review the physical environment, assess clinical encounters, and evaluate relevant policies and procedures of the center in order to improve the delivery of care and promote trauma-sensitive practice.  The materials include self-paced e-learning modules, implementation guides, templates, and checklists.
  • On September 19, 2015, the Administration celebrates the one-year anniversary of It’s On Us – a public awareness and bystander intervention campaign to help end sexual assault on college and university campuses.  In marking the one-year launch of the campaign, on September 1, 2015, It’s On Us released a new public service announcement on the importance of consent when engaging in sexual activity.  Additionally, September 17 and 18, 2015 are official “Days of Action,” in which students on college and university campuses nationwide lead It’s On Us activities, bring increased attention to the issue of sexual assault, and pledge to take action to end it.
  • This month, the Federal government announced new grant awards that reflect the Administration’s  ongoing commitment to providing funding opportunities that enhance research, prevention, and availability of victims’ services on  campuses:
    • On September 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women announced 27 awards to colleges and universities totaling $8.5 million to enhance prevention, enforcement, and services for victims.
    • On September 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced 5 grants to support research on sexual violence, including two awards focused on sexual assault prevention and bystander intervention programs at colleges and universities.  This research investment totals approximately $6.8 million over the next four years.

Background on the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault

In January 2014, President Obama established the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault to ensure that all students – women and men – are protected, and to support educational institutions as they seek to cultivate learning environments of safety and equality.  Just three months after its creation, the Task Force released Not Alone, a report on Federal activities and resources to address campus sexual assault.  Over the last year and a half since the Not Alone release, the Task Force has participated in an exchange of ideas and opportunities to engage student leaders, school representatives, advocates, policymakers, and other critical stakeholders on a variety of fronts, including: campus safety, bystander intervention, fair process and procedures, and trauma-informed responses to sexual violence.  Through this exchange, the Task Force has utilized a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to offer tools and guidance to enhance schools’ prevention, education, response, and enforcement practices.  These resources are contained in the above Resource Guide and are also available on the Task Force’s website: