Vice President Joe Biden wants to make one thing clear: No means no.
The longtime champion of women’s rights released a video message on Tuesday, calling on young people nationwide to help bring an end to violence against women. He speaks directly to viewers in the video, giving them a “very simple rule”:
No means no. No means no if she’s drunk or sober. No means no if she’s in the 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. I’m asking all of you, all of you to help get this message out.
Biden, who drafted the landmark Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA), which is up for reauthorization this year, released the video on the 17th anniversary of the passage of the landmark legislation.
“There is no such thing as an innocent bystander when it comes to the abuse of a woman,” Biden tells viewers. Condemning perpetrators, he looks into the camera and boldly asserts that “rape is rape is rape. And it’s a crime.”
And he’s right to take the issue so seriously. The numbers are staggering:
Approximately 1 in 5 women will be a victim of sexual assault while they are in college and 1 in 9 teen girls will be forced to have sex. Statistics also show that 1 in 10 teen girls will be hurt on purpose by someone they are dating.
In the video, Biden goes on to pitch his catchphrase for the new campaign focused on educating young Americans on violence against women:“1 is 2 Many”
The catchphrase will be used in a number of ways to promote the effort, including through the Twitter hashtag #1is2many. You can follow Vice President Biden on Twitter @VP.
And the vice-president asked students to share solutions to the problem:
I am asking all of you to help get this message out, all across the country, on every single campus in the country. I want to know from you … What has your school done to make you feel safer? What could they do that they’re not doing, to make you feel safer? What ideas do you have to help prevent dating violence and sexual assault and make campuses safer for everyone?
To answer Biden’s questions, fill out the form on his website. Biden is also seeking applications, available on his website, for the “Apps Against Abuse” challenge for young innovators.
“The only way we’re going to stop it is for all of us to speak up and act,” Biden says, “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.”
What can you do to stop the trend?