Moments before signing a presidential memorandum creating a task force to protect students from sexual assault on school campuses, President Barack Obama on Wednesday expressed a desire to change how young American males treat and behave around women.
“We’ve got to keep teaching young men, in particular, to show women the respect they deserve,” Obama said at a White House event. “And to recognize sexual violence and be outraged by it. And to do their part to stop it from happening in the first place.”
“I want every young man in America to feel some strong peer pressure in terms of how they’re supposed to behave and treat women,” he continued.
Obama touted a Wednesday report compiled by the White House Council on Women and Girls saying that 1 in 5 women have been sexually assaulted while attending college but that only 12 percent of victims reported actual assault. It also states that almost 22 million American women and 1.6 million men have been raped in their lifetimes.
“This is a priority for me, not only as president and commander in chief, but as a husband and a father of two extraordinary girls,” he added. “I’ve often said in my travels around the world, you can judge a nation and how successful it will be based on how it treats its women and its girls. Those nations that are successful, they are successful in part because women and girls are valued.”
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