White House fights campus sexual assaults - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

White House fights campus sexual assaults

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The White House called sexual assaults on women an epidemic on college campuses.

According to recent reports, one woman out of every five at college has been sexually assaulted, but only 12 percent of the student assaults are reported.

At the White House Tuesday, Harvard graduate Madeleine Smith spoke about how painful it was to reveal she had been sexually assaulted at school two years ago.

"I would want to share what it's like when your dad answers the phone, and you have to find a way to tell him that the one thing he never wanted to happen to his little girl had happened," Smith said.

The White House hopes a series of new public service announcements using famous men will help spread their message:

"We've got a big problem and we need your help…It's called sexual assault, and it has to stop…We have to stop it, so listen up.”

Men such as Daniel Craig, Steve Carell, and Seth Meyers have joined the fight against sexual assault. Even President Obama made a statement.

For Smith, the fact that her attacker didn't stop still gives her nightmares.

"The hardest part of it is that someone is taking your control, taking away your choice," Smith said.

The White House also unveiled a new website as part of this effort. It provides information for students and presents guidelines on how colleges can help prevent sexual assaults. You can find it at NotAlone.gov.

Harvard University said it has formed a task force to recommend policy changes.

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