President Obama to survivors of campus sexual assault: “I’ve got your back”

Last week, in a coup for anti-violence activists of all stripes including many members of the Feministing crew, the Obama administration released a report and launched a new initiative to end rape and sexual assault on college campuses by holding those schools that receive federal funding accountable for accurate reporting.

In his Friday “weekly address”, which you can view in the video above, President Obama expanded on some of the reasoning behind this monumental decision, saying in part:

“Sexual assault is an affront to our basic decency and humanity…and it’s about all of us.”

While much of the language was very restrained, I was glad that he did point to the need for a collective outrage around this epidemic of violence by stating that “real men are outraged by sexual violence.”

He also had something to say to survivors:

“We need to keep saying to anyone out there who has ever been assaulted: You are not alone. We have your back. I’ve got your back.”

This seems like a good time to thank the many activists whose sustained efforts to address sexual assault in their communities has helped place the scourge of campus violence on the national stage, and facilitated collaboration among organizers from disparate campuses across the U.S. On this site in particular, I’ve learned so much from straightforward news coverage as well as through critiques of rape culture in mainstream media and pop culture.

For more on campus sexual assault and sexual violence, please see:

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman started blogging with Feministing in 2008, and now runs partnerships and strategy as a co-Executive Director. She is also the Director of Youth Engagement at Women Deliver, where she promotes meaningful youth engagement in international development efforts, including through running the award-winning Women Deliver Young Leaders Program. Lori was formerly the Director of Global Communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and has also worked at the United Nations Foundation on the Secretary-General's flagship Every Woman Every Child initiative, and at the International Women’s Health Coalition and Human Rights Watch. As a leading voice on women’s rights issues, Lori frequently consults, speaks and publishes on feminism, activism and movement-building. A graduate of Harvard University, Lori has been named to The Root 100 list of the most influential African Americans in the United States, and to Forbes Magazine‘s list of the “30 Under 30” successful mediamakers. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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