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Obama Announces Task Force To Combat College Sexual Assaults

President Obama announced the formation of a task force to curb sexual assaults on college campuses.

NPR's Tamara Keith reports that the announcement follows a new White House report that found one in five women have been assaulted while in college. Tamara filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"President Obama says that as a husband and father of two daughters this issue is important to him.

"'I want to make sure we are doing everything we can to spare another American the trauma of sexual assault,' Obama said.

"This includes setting up a task force, which will look at what colleges can do to better prevent assaults and putting pressure on those that aren't doing a great job.

"'This is more than just laws that need to be complied with," Valerie Jarett, aclose advisor to the president and head of the White House Council on Women and Girls, said. 'This is changing a culture...what's acceptable and what's not.'

"Obama has asked the task force to report back within 90 days."

Time reports that this task force builds on previous efforts from the administration. Time adds:

"In 2011, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued guidance to schools on the issue. Under federal laws, schools are obligated to prevent and address sexual assault, and to report crimes on campus. Throughout 2013, the Department of Education opened investigations at a number of colleges after students filed federal complaints alleging schools weren't sufficiently addressing assaults on campus.

"The Obama administration has also taken steps to address the criminal justice response to sexual assault by providing funding through the reauthorized Violence Against Women Act."

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.