Facing sexual assault on college and university campuses

By Caroline Goggin

July 30, 2014 Updated Jul 30, 2014 at 6:34 PM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Senator Kirsten Gillibrand addressed the growing problem of sexual assaults on college campuses Wednesday.

She also discussed ways to strengthen the accountability and transparency for institutions in dealing with assaults.

Statistics show one in five undergraduate women have been a victim of an attack or attempted attack.

Fewer than five percent of college rape victims report their attack to law enforcement officials.

More than 20 percent of schools don't provide training for faculty and staff, according to Gillibrand

Even worse, more than 30 percent of schools don't provide training for their students.

In a statement Gillibrand said, "We should never accept the fact that women are at a greater risk of sexual assault as soon as they step onto a college campus. But today they are. And it has to end. The best way to accomplish this goal is through transparency and accountability to flip the incentives that currently reward keeping sexual assault in the shadows."

Locally, at Binghamton University, officials are taking steps to combat the issues and keep students safe.

"We continue to expand our efforts to prevent sexual assault and violence on our campus,” said Vice President of Student Affairs Brian Rose. “We've added staff in several important areas. We've tried to make it much easier for our students and our entire community to get information about what resources we do have available to provide support."

The bipartisan Campus Accountability and Safety Act, that Gillibrand spoke of, will be in the schools' immediate best interest to take proactive steps to protect their students and face the reality of sexual assaults and rape head-on.

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