Nightly News   |  April 29, 2014

White House Takes Action Against Campus Sexual Assault

The Obama administration has released new guidelines on how colleges can help prevent assaults, including a series of public service announcements featuring famous men.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back now with a new effort by the white house enlisting famous men from the entertainment business combat what's being called an epidemic of sexual assaults against women on our college campuses across this country. our report tonight from nbc's rehemeth ellis.

>> reporter: sexual violence on american campuses is alarming. one in five women have been sexually assaulted at college but only 12% of student victims report the assault. today at the white house madeline smith revealed how painful it was for her to admit she had been sexually assaulted as a harvard student two years ago.

>> i want to share what it's like when your dad answers the phone and you have to find a way that the one thing he never wanted to happen to his little girl had happened.

>> reporter: releasing a new set of guidelines on how colleges can help prevent assaults, vice president joe biden had a stern warning for men.

>> no man has a right ever to raise his hand to a woman. period. end of story. it is assault if they do.

>> it's up to all of us.

>> reporter: the white house hopes a series of new public service announcements using famous male face will help spread the message.

>> we have a big problem and we need your help.

>> called sexual assault and it has to stop.

>> we have to stop it. so listen up.

>> reporter: for madeline the fact that her attacker didn't stop still gives her nightmares.

>> the hardest part is somebody is taking away your control.

>> reporter: the new psas make it clear society shouldn't tolerate that any more.

>> if she doesn't consent or if she can't consent it's rape, it's assault.

>> it's a crime, it's wrong.

>> reporter: tonight the white house says a new website will be devoted to providing information how victims can file a complaint and where they can go to get confidential help on and off campus. brian?