Vice President Joe Biden is working to combat sexual violence on college campuses in a new video released Tuesday, the anniversary of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) co-sponsored by then-Senator Biden.
According to Biden, young women age 16–24 have the highest rates of rape and sexual assault: One in five women will be victims of sexual assault in college, one in nine will be forced to have sex, one in ten teens will be hurt by somebody she is dating and one in nine teens will be forced to have sex.
“The only way we’re going to stop it is for all of us to speak up and act and make it clear that violence against women will not be tolerated at your school, on your campus, at any time, for any reason, period,” the vice president said in the video. “No means no. No means no if she’s drunk or you’re sober. No mean no if you’re in a dorm room or on the street. No means no even if she said yes first and changed her mind. No means no, no matter what.”
Biden urges viewers to share their ideas for preventing sexual violence by submitting comments to the whitehouse.gov/1is2many page or using the Twitter hashtag #1is2many.
“If you know somebody’s being abused, or see somebody being abused, be a man — step up. It could be your sister; it’s your obligation,” Biden concluded his message.
While the cause to prevent violence has noble intentions, there are some who have pointed out that the crisis Biden is fighting might not be as dire as the administration’s statistics make it seem.
In April, when the administration clarified and strengthened guidelines for schools to combat and respond to sexual violence, Heather MacDonald, a scholar at the Manhattan Institute, wrote that the vice president has “bought into the campus rape lie.”
“The White House claims that one-in-five female students has been victims of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault while at college. Such bogus statistics have been the mainstay of campus-rape-epidemic propaganda for years,” she wrote. “They are generated by a variety of clever techniques, but the most important is this: The survey-taker, rather than the female respondent, decides whether the latter has been raped or not. When you ask the girls directly whether they view themselves as victims of rape, the answer overwhelmingly comes in: No.”
The video represents a portion of the campaign Biden and the administration launched to combat sexual violence on campuses, a campaign that is sure to continue throughout his tenure as vice president.