Dartmouth Sexual Assault Summit Calls for Action

Hanover — Federal officials on Tuesday called for colleges to meet a higher standard in combating sexual violence during sessions of the National Summit on Sexual Assault hosted by Dartmouth College. “If we get this right at this moment in time we will have a cohort of students who leave school knowing that sexual assault is unacceptable,” Lynn Rosenthal, the White House advisor on violence against women, said.

The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, created in January to inform President Obama’s initiative against rape on college campuses, released its first report in April. Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson, who will leave Dartmouth for Scripps College in August, was in Washington for the release of the report. On Tuesday, Rosenthal summarized some of its findings, including the recommendation that institutions of higher education strengthen their prevention resources. “What we still see is that we haven’t yet prevented that first act of violence from happening,” Rosenthal said.

Bea Hanson, of the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women, said that bystander initiatives, or programs that teach members of the community how to identify dangerous situations and intervene in them, were one option.
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