The Trump administration has removed yet another key item from the official White House website, as one attorney has recently learned. She went looking for an indispensable tool she had used many times, and suddenly it was gone.
Nearly four years ago, back when the most we worried about were Tea Partiers, it was a different time. The government could actually focus on issues that needed solving, like climate change, health care outcomes, or the wage gap. Frequently you might see the president directly address problems that affected people directly, including the rape crisis in America.
That’s why the Obama administration published a report, hosted on the White House website, called “Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call To Action.” It was created by the administration’s Council on Women and Girls in partnership with Vice President Joe Biden. The report was nonpartisan and contained statistics on sexual assault and methods of combatting it. Researchers could access it easily and use its contents for instruction, or even for writing legal briefs and providing testimony in cases of sexual assault.
But when Alexandra Brodsky went to the White House site to locate the report on Wednesday, she discovered it was gone:
The Trump Admin has removed the 2014 White House “Rape and Sexual Assault: Renewed Call to Action” report https://t.co/5xCz2iBZs9
— Alexandra Brodsky (@azbrodsky) August 30, 2017
Thankfully, there is a copy stored on the website of Know Your IX, an organization that fights rape and sexual assault on campuses nationwide. Named after the Title IX education amendment of 1972, the group is led by survivors and by young people interested in helping end sexual and dating violence in their schools.
The internet is nearly infinite. The report is less than half of one megabyte in size. Team Trump was certainly not trying to save space on the website. So why remove the report? The likeliest reason, says Brodsky, is simple: It’s a research paper full of facts and things you can verify. This administration has proved to be averse to such things:
This is a summary of really important and, in some cases, government-funded work that was done to understand the causes and effects of sexual and gender violence. What does it mean that the Trump administration doesn’t want the public to have that information?
It means the same as when they took down the pages referring to climate change, LGBTQ issues, and the Affordable Care Act. They don’t want Americans armed with solid information. After all, informed Americans vote for Democrats.
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