Obama announces new task force on sexual assault in schools

by S.Abate on February 1, 2014 - 12:38pm

Original article: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/toronto-swimmer-s-death-prompts-u-s-school-to-bolster-mental-health-services-1.1662787

Last week, Barack Obama announced a new task force on sexual assault in universities, where statistics showed that one in five females are raped while in college, but only one of eight actually report it. In June 2011, a 20 year-old woman named Sasha Menu Courey, from Toronto took her own life in a Boston psychiatric facility after being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, two months after a suicide attempt. Mike Menu and Lynn Courey, her parents, have started a mental health foundation named in her memory. They claim that Sasha’s school, University of Missouri, and the athletics’ department did not do enough investigating on her assault that occurred in 2010, which was off-campus and as many as three football players were involved in the act. The school didn’t immediately investigate Sasha’s death, where she had withdrawn from her courses which was encouraged by the school itself and where she unfortunately lost her financial aid. Schools across the U.S. are becoming more involved in raising money and fighting rape amongst their campus and demand stricter laws on gender discrimination. At least 50 schools have already boosted their efforts in the last few years. Complaints related to sexual assault and violations are increasing, counselling and personal help is becoming more available throughout campuses. I believe counselling is the key to helping these students with their mental health issues. Talking to someone is the first step to recovery, and on-going sessions where feelings and thoughts are expressed, are essential in comforting these students. These victims need to know there is a place where they will not be alone, where they can connect with others by sharing their stories. I also believe that the schools of these students should take full responsibility on the mental health care of their students. It should be part of a school’s duty to be more aware of what is going on within their campus, while making sure their students are safe and remain so. 

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