How Joe Biden Wants You to Help Prevent Sexual Assault

How Joe Biden Wants You to Help Prevent Sexual Assault

The former Vice President held a conference call to educate students and energize them to act.

The former Vice President held a conference call to educate students and energize them to act.

Text: Ilana Kaplan

Joe Biden wants the world to know it's on all of us to stop violence against women. As an issue close to the former Vice President's heart, it's something that he's been advocating for since he began serving in public office.

On Wednesday, Biden held a conference call to educate thousands of college students about the prevention of sexual violence on campuses for his "It's On Us" campaign. It's no coincidence that Biden decided to hold this discussion now: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. But it would be naïve to say that one month should solely be dedicated to the prevention, which is why Biden has been fighting violence against women and girls for over 20 years.

Back in 1994, as a Delaware senator, Biden created the milestone Violence Against Women Act, intended to prevent sexual assault, when at the time, there was no support for the law across the board. In 2014, when he took office as Vice President, Biden used his position of power to continue his work, forming the organization "It’s On Us" with former President Barack Obama to help educate and prevent sexual assault.

During his tenure, he closely looked at sexual assault numbers and the efforts of his legislation significantly reduced violence against women by 60 percent. But years later, he he was distressed by some of the results.

"I had the most disappointing news that I’ve had as an elected official,” Biden explained. “It was that violence that occurred on campuses [against] women between the young ages of 14 and their early 20s...nothing had changed. The rate of violence, of rape and abuse, was as high as it was when I drafted the [VAWA] law.” Today the statistics remain the same: 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted during their time on campus.

Because the results have been stagnant in this demographic, Biden decided to hold this virtual town hall to continue his crusade against sexual violence. He wanted to know what he could do to fight harder from students, and the response was almost unanimous: “Get men involved.”

Although Biden knows it’s not always possible to directly confront an attacker, he wants the public to know there’s always something you can do to help. “You may not always be able to intervene because you're 5'2” and the guy is 6’4” and 300 lbs., but you can holler, you can call 911 and you can get engaged."

While violence against women has been an ongoing issue since the beginning of time, it's been an especially hot topic since accused abuser Donald Trump accepted his presidency. And especially now, we shouldn’t expect Biden to back down on his convictions any time soon. He passionately noted, “There is no justification here or anywhere in the world for a culture that allows the abuse of women and girls.”

Regardless of any roadblocks the next four years may have, Biden will continue to fight for “victory.” "There's always gonna be violence," Biden explained. "Victory will be achieved when not a single, solitary woman who is abused, violated—physically or mentally—asks herself, 'What did I do?'"

For more information and to take action in the fight against sexual violence, visit It’s On Us.

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