by Cat Cleary
Known for his untimely and unfortunate gaffes, Vice President Joe Biden doesn’t exactly seem like he would be the ideal spokesperson for any particular issue or movement. But what much of the public does not hear about our dear Vice President is the extent of his involvement and activism within the movement against violence against women.
Biden first introduced the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in the United States Congress in June of 1990. VAWA is “a landmark piece of legislation that sought to improve criminal justice and community-based responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking in the United States” Since then, he has fought for VAWA’s reauthorization many times and has been an active spokesperson for the movement. Most recently, Vice President Biden has led the White House’s new campaign titled “1 is 2 many” that is focused specifically on strengthening efforts to reduce dating violence against teens and young women ages 16-24. The White House points out that, “young women in this age group face the highest rates of dating violence and sexual assault. Nearly one in five college women will be the victim of a sexual assault, and one in ten teens will be hurt by someone they are dating.”
As young men and women, this issue and his work matter to us. As believers in the mission and work of One Student, this issue and his work matter to us. But finally, what I think I like best about Joe Biden’s work and advocacy in this field is his sincerity in doing it. In an interview with TV talk show “The View,” Joe Biden refers to his work to end violence against women as “the single most significant thing I’ve ever done in my life.” Our Vice President is giving large-scale awareness to an issue that many on the other side of the aisle don’t even want to get behind—and, on top of that, I believe he is being genuine. So, in many years, when we look back on the work of both Senator and Vice President Joe Biden, I hope that in addition to his many quotable moments, we don’t forget to honor the revolutionary work he has done in the field of ending violence against women.