Remarks by Governor Wolf at It’s On Us PA Press Conference

first_img June 08, 2016 Remarks by Governor Wolf at It’s On Us PA Press Conference It’s On Us PA,  Remarks,  Videos It’s On Us PA Press ConferenceHarrisburg, PATRANSCRIPT:I want to thank all of you for being here to contribute to the important work that the “It’s on Us PA” campaign is doing.The effort to combat sexual assault and provide a safe haven for Pennsylvania’s students and young people is extremely importantThat is why Pennsylvania became the first state in the nation to join the White House in this noble effortThis initiative has three goalsFirst, to improve awareness, prevention, reporting and response systems in the commonwealthSecond, to remove or at least reduce barriers that prevent survivors from reporting sexual assaultAnd third, to demonstrate that we are committed – at all levels – to the task of eradicating this scourge in PennsylvaniaWe need to treat sexual assault in our schools and colleges as the serious problem it truly isWe need to agree that we’re not going to put up with it any longerThat’s because sexual assault has a corrosive effect on all of us, and especially on those who are assaultedAn estimated 1 in 5 college women are assaultedNearly 20% of young women between the ages of 14 and 17 are sexually assaultedMostly by someone the survivor knows and trustsClassmateSupposed friendA relativeOr a family memberAnd the impact is serious and widespreadSurvivors are more likely to experience immediate and long-term health issues like:Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – 94%Depression – 75%And suicidal tendencies – 35-50%Safety is a fundamental civil right and sexual assault is a clear violation of that civil rightWhen that violation occurs for any member of a communityIt occurs for every member of that communityIt violates the right of everyone to a safe societyPennsylvania must take a stand against sexual assault.That’s what the “It’s on Us PA” campaign is all about.It is about we, as a Commonwealth, saying that this act is entirely unacceptable and against the way of life we envision for ourselves and those in our communityWhen these acts are not taken seriously, or ignored, victims are singled out for humiliation and those that have committed them go unpunishedThat’s what happened at Stanford University, where a member of the University swim team was caught in the act of raping a young womanHe received only 6 months in a county jail with probation, while his victim will have to live the rest of her life with the feeling of violation and danger that he causedThese kinds of leniencies send a message to the community that we are not serious about preventing sexual assault, and safeguarding our young people.These kinds of leniencies are unacceptable.The “It’s on Us PA” campaign is about delivering that message across the Commonwealth.We need to end sexual assaultMy administration is committed to this goal.We have great partners in this effort who are committed to doing just thatSince January, over 800 people – including over 200 colleges, universities and school districts in Pennsylvania – have signed the pledge to join the “It’s on us” campaignMy administration has engaged them to help in this effortOver the past 6 months, we have held roundtables across the Commonwealth to hear from survivors, students, healthcare professionals and policy makers, trying to create better strategies for ending sexual assaultTo that end, I have proposed $1 million in the 2016-17 budget to invest in community partnerships that will help prevent sexual violence and remove barriers to reporting in schools across PennsylvaniaAdditionally, I have directed the Department of Education to provide support and technical assistance by administering this program and align state level resources to better support school districts and postsecondary institutionsIn the near future, my administration will introduce a legislative package designed to ensure that safety and wellbeing of students and young peopleThis package will target the enormous number of statutes and regulations that cover different types of harassment and violence to identify opportunities to prevent sexual violenceI am determined to make Pennsylvania a shining example to the rest of the world as to what committed citizens can do to make our world betterIt’s truly on all of us to accomplish thisLet’s get to workAnd thanks for your commitment to freeing our commonwealth of the problem of campus sexual assaultNow, I am very proud to turn the podium over to Coach Jay WrightCoach Wright is a key ally in the effort to end sexual assault on campusHe, like the rest of us, is committed to making sure that sexual assault has no place in the life of a young person.He also happens to coach the National Champion Villanova Wildcats Basketball teamJay WrightLike Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolfcenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img

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