President Trump Declares April Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

March 31, 2017, 9:25 PM UTC
President Trump Attends Women's Empowerment Panel At The White House
President Donald Trump speaks during an event celebrating Women's History Month at the White House on March 29, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Photograph by Mark Wilson—Getty Images

President Donald Trump on Friday declared April National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, saying the country has a shared responsibility to “reduce and ultimately end sexual violence.”

“As a Nation, we must develop meaningful strategies to eliminate these crimes, including increasing awareness of the problem in our communities, creating systems that protect vulnerable groups, and sharing successful prevention strategies,” said Trump, who was accused of sexual assault and harassment by multiple women during his campaign for president.

In October, a leaked recording of a 2005 conversation revealed Trump boasting about groping women without their consent.

National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month was first observed nationally in 2001. In his proclamation on Friday, Trump said he had instructed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to create a “task force on crime reduction and public safety” that will aim to reduce crime, including sexual violence.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who championed sexual assault prevention from the White House, said before he left office that he was working to convince the Trump Administration to prioritize the issue of sexual assault on campus.

“I’m working very hard with this incoming administration to convince them that this is, in a sense, the civil rights issue of our time. It’s the human rights issue of our time,” Biden said in January.

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