Watch CBS News

Vice President Visits Pitt To Raise Awareness, Push Prevention Of Sexual Assaults

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Air Force Two arrived at Pittsburgh International Airport, deplaning Vice President Joe Biden in aviator sunglasses with time for a quick stop at Pamela's in the Strip District.

Biden schmoozed patrons before heading to Oakland where at least 800 University of Pittsburgh students crammed into a small area to hear the Vice President hail Pittsburgh's come-back.

"There's no quit in Pittsburgh. None. And I've been here many, many times," he said.

But this visit was focused on the serious topic of sexual assault, especially on college campuses.

With the Vice President was 29-year-old actor Matt McGorry of the Netflix series "Orange is the New Black," who spoke directly to the students.

"If you're a guy," said McGorry, "more often than not, you've grown up in a society where sexism is pervasive and deeply entrenched in your life. But because it doesn't affect you the way it affects your female counterparts, it's easy to not see it or believe that it's more rare that it really is."

Turns out that sexual assault, unwanted sexual contact without clear consent, is pervasive on most college campuses.

"You'd think the last place you'd have to worry about dropping your beautiful son or daughter off would be on a college campus," noted Biden. "It should be the safest place in the world."

Two years ago, the White House launched the "It's On Us" campaign to bring to zero the one in five women and one in 16 men sexually assaulted on campus.

"No means no. No means no whether it's in the classroom, in the back seat of a car, on a mall, or in your bedroom and you start and you change your mind," Biden said. "No means no. Period."

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter

Biden asked the 800 students at the Petersen Events Center to take the pledge.

"Raise your right hand and repeat after me. I pledge to recognize that nonconsensual sex is sexual assault," he said.

One out of five women and one out of 16 men are subjected to unwanted sexual contact, and Biden said students must speak out when they see or hear this.

"Engage, intervene, help her, report it," he said.

And he decried the stereotypes that seem to put the blame on women.

"What difference does it make what a woman was wearing. But still today the question gets asked," he said. "Were you drinking, what did you say, why did you offend him? These are questions that angered me then and anger me now."

Biden said over 500 campuses have, like Pitt, embraced the "It's On Us" campaign, and the message is simple.

"No means no."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.