Alex Milan Tracy/AP

Timeline: The year of college sexual assault

2014 will go down in history as the year colleges were forced to confront sexual violence among students

For decades, students have been trying to raise awareness about a quiet violence on their campuses. But in the last year, the issue of sexual assault at America's colleges has leapt from yellowing leaflets in campus women's centers to the covers of the nation's most influential magazines. The White House launched a task force. Senators inked bills. College administrators were brought to their knees.

Little has been resolved; the subject is so fraught and the stakes are so high. But awareness itself has done powerful work. Sexual assault reports at America's top colleges jumped 61 percent in the last two years, and more victims are coming out of the shadows and slamming their colleges with federal complaints.

When America Tonight launched our special broadcast and digital series "Sex Crimes on Campus" last October, the Department of Education was investigating 25 colleges and universities for mishandling sexual violence. That number seemed striking at the time. Today, it's 86.

These are the highlights of what happened in between:

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Where to turn for help

If you have been the victim of a sexual assault or are a friend of a victim, live support is available at 800-565-HOPE (4673) or online here.

For more on campus safety and sexual assault prevention and help, visit our resources page.


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