Clinton pledges crackdown on campus rape
© Getty Images

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump touts report Warner attempted to talk to dossier author Poll: Nearly half of Iowans wouldn’t vote for Trump in 2020 Rubio on Warner contact with Russian lobbyist: It’s ‘had zero impact on our work’ MORE pledged to confront rape and sexual assault on college campuses if elected president, at a Monday speech at the University of Northern Iowa. 

“As president, I’ll fight to make sure every campus offers every survivor the support she needs and will make sure those services are comprehensive, confidential and coordinated,” she said, adding that sexual assault survivors include men and the transgender community.
 
“Rape is a crime wherever it happens and schools have an obligation. I think it’s both a legal obligation and a moral obligation, to protect every student’s right to get an education free from discrimination, free from fear.”
 
That legal obligation falls under Title IX, which protects against sex discrimination in all federally funded education programs, as well as the Clery Act, which mandates crime reporting and certain resources for survivors.
 
Noting a recent Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll that found that one in five women reported being sexually assaulted during college, Clinton outlined the need to shore up services for survivors as well as bolster “prevention efforts to change attitudes associated with violence.” She said that the issue “is a lot bigger than a single conversation at freshman orientation,” while praising the work of those striving to address the problem.
 
NBC News, which reported on the announcement ahead of her remarks, added that her plan would aim to strengthen “disciplinary proceedings for both accusers and the accused.” 
 
She lauded the Obama administration’s work on the issue and promised to carry the torch if elected president. The White House launched the It’s On Us campaign last year, targeted at ending sexual assaults on college campuses and authored a “Dear Colleague” letter in 2011 that spelled out the Department of Education’s views on schools’ responsibility to combat the issue.
 
“I want to send a message to all of the survivors,” she said.
 
“Don’t let anyone silence your voice, you have the right to be heard, the right be believed, and we are with you as you go forward.”
 
Clinton then tacked to a full-throated criticism of her GOP rivals on women’s issues. She hit Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: 'We have a Napoleon in the making' MORE, who she referred to as the “flamboyant front-runner” for not respecting women; Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump must send Russia powerful message through tougher actions McCain, Coons immigration bill sparks Trump backlash Taking a strong stance to protect election integrity MORE (R-Fla.) for his opposition to abortion rights for victims of rape and incest; former Gov. Jeb Bush for comments that he later walked back about women’s health spending; and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson for questioning if circumstances arise when an abortion could save the life of a mother.
 
“They are Trump without the pizzazz and the hair,” she said of the rest of the GOP field.
 
“I am not going to let them shame and blame women,” Clinton said.
 
Her swing through Iowa comes amid a slide at the polls that’s narrowed the gap between her and her closest opponent, Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersTrump has declared war on our climate — we won’t let him win Stock slide bites boastful Trump, but rising wages great for GOP Millions should march on DC to defeat Trump Republicans MORE (I-Vt.), as well as rumors of a potential bid by Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenBiden says he would advise Trump against Mueller interview Biden on Trump's 'treason' comments: 'He's a joke' Joe Kennedy: Biden likely would have defeated Trump MORE.