A University of Louisville official says the White House’s latest campaign to stop sexual assaults on college campuses is a welcome step.
This week, Vice President Joe Biden and Education Secretary Arne Duncan encouraged universities to more closely follow the provisions of Title IX meant to prevent sexual assaults. Those provisions outline how investigations should take place and bar victims from being punished for using drugs or alcohol before the assault.
Sharon LaRue directs U of L’s PEACC program, which works to prevent sexual assault and help victims. She says the reminders of current law and the increased attention on sexual assault strike at one of the school’s chief problems—students who are afraid to report attacks.
“If there’s alcohol involved, if they feel like they had some amount of responsibility in the action—even though we know that’s not true, but sometimes they feel that—or if it’s someone they know, they’re not really likely to come forward and report.”
LaRue says U of L already follows many of the guidelines the White House is stressing. About 28 assaults are reported at U of L each semester, but LaRue says many go unreported.