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Gillibrand: More federal funding needed to fight campus sexual assaults

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The statistics on campus sexual assaults are shocking, to say the least. More than 90 percent of attackers have done it before. Nearly one in five women in college in the Unites States will be a victim of attempted or actual sexual assault, studies show.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is pushing for more federal funding to help investigate and enforce sexual assault laws on college campuses. Last year alone, colleges and universities in New York State reported 365 forcible sex offenses, many of which involved alcohol or drugs.

Several women who claimed they were raped during college joined the senator Monday at a news conference at Gillibrand's office in Manhattan.

Emma Sulkowicz, now a junior at Columbia University, says school officials mishandled her case against her alleged attacker who to date has not been charged with a crime. Zoey Ridolfi-Starr, also a junior, claims the same man attacked her. She says survivors are ignored, unsupported, silenced, and manipulated when they turn to universities for help

The Columbia students' alleged attacker was never charged by police in either case.

Columbia issued a statement from its president saying he applauds Gillibrand's efforts.

"A commitment to increase awareness of such misconduct, decrease its frequency, support survivors of violence, and hold accountable students who violate university policies, has long been a priority at Columbia," President Lee Bollinger said in the statement.

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