Joe Biden Reveals 'Most Disappointing News' He Got As VP
Former Vice President Joe Biden opened up about the "most disappointing news" he received as an elected official.
(No, it had nothing to do with the election of Donald Trump.)
It was the fact the rate of violence against women on college campuses and in high schools had not decreased, despite his prevention efforts.
Way back in 1994, Biden initiated the Violence Against Women Act, which supported governmental efforts to stop domestic abuse and sexual violence.
But a few years ago, when he was vice president, Biden learned "the rate of violence, rape and abuse was as high as it was when I drafted the law."
The former vice president spoke about this during a call with It's On Us, the Obama White House's campaign to prevent sexual violence at schools.
This week is a week of action for It's On Us, with 609 events being held on 153 campuses across 42 states, Biden said during the call on Wednesday, April 5.
To start the month, It's On Us released a new ad "autocorrecting" texts to show rape culture.
This ad addresses the most important lesson Biden learned about preventing sexual assault at schools: You have to change the culture to stop violence.
"We have to change the culture on campuses, and we can," Biden said. "It is within our power to change the culture."
When he began his term as vice president, Barack Obama asked if there were any institutional changes he wanted. Biden said he wanted to make the prevention of violence against women a White House priority.
That's when he learned the disappointing statistic on campus sexual assault, so he held a town hall conference call to ask young people for advice.
"I felt foolish, because the obvious answer is so obvious," Biden recounted on Wednesday.
A ton of people from that town hall told him that the solution was to get men involved. That's when It's On Us was born.
Biden is continuing his work with It's On Us past his vice presidency because he still wants to see those statistics go down.
"My greatest heartache was we haven't fundamentally changed the circumstances for young women on campuses and in high schools," he said.
And he's going to keep working until he has achieved his marker for victory. Biden said,
There's always going to be violence, but victory will be achieved when not a single solitary woman who is abused, violated, physically or mentally, asked herself, 'What did I do.' It is never, never, never, never the woman's fault. It is never the woman's fault. No man has the right to abuse women under any circumstances. Period. We're going to make it when no woman blames herself for being assaulted, and no man tries to rationalize brutish behavior based on culture, tradition or the law.
The former vice president says he has seen cultural changes, including when the positive response received when he introduced Lady Gaga to perform "Til It Happens To You" with assault survivors at the Oscars.
Biden said he has also been warmed by responses to violence against women he never could have imagined back when he first wrote the Violence Against Women Act.
This includes the outrage at the NFL for not appropriately punishing Ray Rice and Mercedes-Benz and other companies pulling advertising from "The O'Reilly Factor" after allegations of sexual harassment against Bill O'Reilly were made public.