TALLAHASSEE, Fla. President Obama spoke out about what’s being called a college sexual assault epidemic sweeping the nation. Students at two Florida universities say they feel safe.
A White House report says one of every five female college students are victims of sexual assault. There have been 13 sexual assault cases at Florida State and four across town at Florida A&M since 2010. Florida universities say safety begins before students even show up on campus.
Tanya Tatum is a Florida A&M health student. “We actually start before the students move-in on campus and we provide information to them during orientation session and also to their parents.”
Only one in every eight sexual assaults is reported. Alleged victims often feel like they won't be believed. Or they are ashamed. Student Taylor Altidor says students can't stick their head in the sand. “You have to know these are things you can’t be afraid to think about because once you think about them you’ll talk to yourself about how to protect yourself.”
“Both of the state universities in Florida say reported sexual abuse cases are below normal.”
Universities say students need to have information readily available to make a difference in the numbers being assaulted.
“It’s very important that all students get information and education and the institutions put in supports for students to help prevent sexual assault”, says Alexandra Hidalgo-Gato/Florida State University Freshman
Students there say the efforts by the university are paying off. “The police officer comes in and he tells you all of the services they do for you.”
It’s estimated 22 million American women and one point six million men have been victims of rape.
President Obama gave the task force 90 days to come up with recommendations for colleges and universities nationwide.