White House Task Force Charged to Combat Sexual Assault

By Mallory Lane

Published 01/23 2014 05:45PM

Updated 01/23 2014 06:00PM

PENN STATE, UNIVERSITY PARK - President Obama is calling on the White House Task Force to combat sexual abuse at institutions of higher education.

The White House released new data yesterday about the amount of sexual violence occurring on college campuses nationwide.

They say nearly one in five women have been sexually assaulted during her college career.

Experts at Penn State say those statistics are right on target.

"So far, we've had 18 reported sexual assaults since the beginning of the school year," Penn State Women's Center Program Coordinator, Jennifer Pencek said.

That's just the number of reported assaults. Pencek says the number of actual assaults is likely much higher.

"It could just be more of an awareness, people are more comfortable reporting," she said. "I think it really just depends on the timing and the individual cases."

According to the White House study, most victims of sexual violence know their assailants and 98% of the perpetrators are male.

The White House Task Force has 90 days to come up with recommendations for protecting college students.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month. Pencek says there are several events scheduled on campus to educate students on sexual violence.

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