White House’s Solution to College Campus Rapes: Anything but Guns

The White House put together some task force to find out ways to prevent sexual assaults and rapes on U.S. college campuses. The task force includes notable government officials such as Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. They propose many ideas to tackle these problems, including the following:

1. Identifying the Problem: Campus Climate Surveys

The first step in solving a problem is to name it and know the extent of it – and a campus climate survey is the best way to do that. We are providing schools with a toolkit to conduct a survey – and we urge schools to show they’re serious about the problem by conducting the survey next year. The Justice Department, too, will partner with Rutgers University’s Center on Violence Against Women and Children to pilot, evaluate and further refine the survey – and at the end of this trial period, we will explore legislative or administrative options to require schools to conduct a survey in 2016.

2. Preventing Sexual Assault – and Engaging Men Prevention programs can change attitudes, behavior – and the culture. In addition to identifying a number of promising prevention strategies that schools can undertake now, we are also researching new ideas and solutions. But one thing we know for sure: we need to engage men as allies in this cause. Most men are not perpetrators – and when we empower men to step in when someone’s in trouble, they become an important part of the solution. As the President and Vice President’s new Public Service Announcement puts it: if she doesn’t consent – or can’t consent – it’s a crime. And if you see it happening, help her, don’t blame her, speak up. We are also providing schools with links and information about how they can implement their own bystander intervention programs on campus.

3. Effectively Responding When a Student Is Sexually Assaulted

When one of its students is sexually assaulted, a school needs to have all the pieces of a plan in place.

Later on in their 20-page report:

Because students can be sexually assaulted at all hours of the day or night, emergency servicesshould be available 24 hours a day, too. Other types of support can also be crucial – like longer term therapies and advocates who can accompany survivors to medical and legal appointments.

Many schools cannot themselves provide all these services, but in partnership with a local rapecrisis center, they can. So, too, when both the college and the local police are simultaneouslyinvestigating a case (a criminal investigation does not relieve a school of its duty to itselfinvestigate and respond), coordination can be crucial. So we are providing schools with a sample agreement they can use to partner with their local rape crisis center – and by June, wewill provide a similar sample for forging a partnership with local law enforcement.

Their report went on and on with more possible solutions to prevent campus sexual assault and rape. None of the things they propose will actually do anything to prevent sexual crimes.

Remember Amanda Collins, a college student who went to the University of Nevada and was raped at gunpoint in a gun-free “safe zone,” some 50 feet from the campus police station? She even had a concealed carry permit, but because of school rules, she was not permitted to carry on campus. What would Eric Holder and Arne Duncan and the rest of this White House task force suggest to Amanda Collins or any other student for that matter in the event of a rape? I’m pretty sure logging on to NotAlone.gov, the website being pushed by this White House task force, wouldn’t help a woman in that situation. And neither would blowing a whistle, learning Judo, using the “buddy system,” all of which have been solutions offered by Democratic lawmakers. Absolutely anything but the thing that would actually work.