Obama: Step up efforts to combat sexual violence

President Obama denounced “the crime, the outrage” of sexual violence in his weekly address on Saturday, offering ideas to reduce the incidence of sexual assault and calling the issue a personal priority for him “as a husband and a father of two extraordinary girls.”

He touted the creation of a new White House task force to curb rape and other types of sexual assault on college campuses.

“An estimated 1 in 5 women is sexually assaulted at college – and that’s totally unacceptable,” he said. “So I’ve created the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. We’re going to help schools do a better job of preventing and responding to sexual assault on their campuses.”

The president first announced the creation of the task force Wednesday when he convened the White House Council on Women and Girls to step up the administration’s efforts to prevent sexual assault.

He also nodded at the ongoing push by Congress and the administration to curb the problem of sexual violence in the armed forces, vowing to keep up the fight.

“When a member of our military is attacked by the very people he or she trusts and serves with, that’s an injustice that no one who volunteers to protect our nation should ever endure,” the president said.

“Some of this is a job for government,” he added. “But, really, it’s up to all of us. We’ve got to teach young people - men and women - to be brave enough to stand up and help put an end to these crimes. We’ve especially got to teach young men to show women the respect they deserve. I want every young man in America to know that real men don’t hurt women.”

“Perhaps most important, we need to keep saying to anyone out there who has ever been assaulted: You are not alone,” he said. “We have your back.  I’ve got your back.”

  • Jake Miller

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