White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault Invites Participation in Public Listening Sessions

February 6, 2014

Dear Students, Advocates, University Leaders, Law Enforcement Professionals, VAWA Grantees and Colleagues:  The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault is pleased to announce that we will be holding a series of virtual, public listening sessions in February.  The Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women, in partnership with the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, and the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, will be hosting these sessions, and our colleagues from the White House, the Office of the Vice President, and the Agencies serving on the Task Force will also be participating.  We want you to join us!  Many people have contacted us about how to provide input into the Task Force, and we are eager to hear from you.  Your expertise, research and experiences are invaluable to this process.  The Task Force is looking for concrete and creative ideas about how schools can prevent sexual assault, and how they can better respond when it happens – both in terms of supporting survivors and holding offenders accountable.   In particular, we would like your opinions on: 

  • Institutional policies and protocols to address sexual assault
  • Responding to diverse, underserved or historically marginalized victims
  • Prevention programs
  • Crisis intervention and advocacy services
  • Complaint and grievance procedures
  • Investigation protocols
  • Adjudicatory procedures
  • Disciplinary sanctions
  • Training and orientation modules for students, staff, and faculty
  • Evaluating and measuring the success of prevention and response efforts
  • Sharing information with the public
  • Making enforcement activities transparent and accessible
  • Promoting greater coordination and consistency among federal agencies
  • Maximizing the Federal Government's effectiveness in combatting campus rape and sexual assault 

To facilitate conversation, the listening sessions are organized by group. 

  • February 12, 3:00-4:00 pm EST – Students and Survivors 
  • February 13, 4:00-5:00 pm EST – Researchers and National Experts 
  • February 14, 4:00-5:00 pm EST – Victim Advocates, Rape Crisis Center Staff, Victim Service Providers, including Campus-based and Community Programs 
  • February 18, 2:00-3:00 pm EST – University, College, and Community College Administrators and Leaders 
  • February 18, 4:00-5:00 pm EST – Alumni, Parents, and Other Campus Stakeholders 
  • February 19, 3:00-4:00 pm EST – Civil Liberties  
  • February 20, 7:00-8:00 pm EST – Students and Survivors 
  • February 21, 4:00-5:00 pm EST – Campus Law Enforcement, Local Law Enforcement, Student Conduct Personnel, Campus Disciplinary/Judicial Boards, and Title IX Coordinators 
  • February 25, 5:00-6:00 pm EST – Students and Survivors 
  • February 26, 3:00-4:00 pm EST – Open Forum 

The listening sessions are designed to allow as many people as possible to provide input.  We won’t be answering questions, but instead will be listening to you.  If you have questions, we will gather them for a future response.  We have three different Students and Survivors listening sessions, spread over three weeks, to accommodate the demand within our webinar capacity.  If you’re not a student or survivor, please don’t join this session – you might unintentionally block a student or survivor from participating.  If you are a student or survivor, we would appreciate you joining one of these three sessions.  Listening sessions will use the Adobe Connect webinar service, which allows participants to queue up to make verbal comments.  Participants can also type comments in a chat box.  We expect a large number of participants, so please plan to keep your remarks brief – about 3 minutes – so more people can have a turn to speak.  Streaming ASL interpretation is available upon request.  When you register for your choice of listening session, just select the ASL box.  If you don’t get the chance to speak or still have more to say, don’t worry – you can submit written comments.  Comments can be submitted any time from now until February 28, 2014.  If you would like to submit comments, email them to OVW.SATaskForce@usdoj.gov.  Kindly note, these calls will be off-the-record, and not intended for press purposes.  Please keep an eye on OVW’s website, www.ovw.usdoj.gov, in the coming weeks for any updates.  Don’t forget to register for the listening sessions at http://ta2ta.org/events/webinars/white-house-listening-sessions.html.  We are excited to hear from you in the coming weeks.  Sincerely, Bea Hanson Principal Deputy Director Office on Violence Against Women

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Updated October 14, 2016