Biden kicks off effort to reexamine college campus sexual assault

Looking to “change the culture” of sexual assault on college campuses, Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday chaired the first of nine “listening sessions” his White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault will host before tabling official recommendations in April.

 

“I’m here to listen,” Biden told the room full of student advocates, sexual assault survivors and educators. “I want you to tell me what you think works on your campuses in your experience, what’s not working in your schools, what we should be doing that we aren’t doing, what we are doing that is not making much sense.”

 

The vice president expressed personal disappointment in learning that since the signing of the Violence Against Women Act, “violence between the ages of 14 and 24 has gone up.” Then-Sen. Biden drafted the original version of the law during the Bill Clinton administration.

 

“No matter what a woman is wearing, no matter where she is, ‘no’ means ‘no,’” Biden said. Sexual assault is “a crime; it’s a simple, straightforward crime.”

 

Biden said in addition to the nine sit-downs, the task force will sponsor eight webinars this month to receive input on how to improve sexual assault policies and practices at schools across the United States.

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