Tell VP Joe Biden your ideas for preventing sexual assault and dating violence

You gotta love Joe Biden. Earlier this week, on the 17th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, he released a video calling on young people to share their ideas for how to prevent dating violence and sexual assault at their schools and on their college campuses.

Biden notes that young women age 16-24 continue to have the highest rates of rape and sexual assault and cites some always-staggering statistics: 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. 1 in 10 teens have been physically hurt on purpose by someone they’re dating.

He urges everyone, particularly boys and men, to speak out against violence against women when they see it. And he offers this simple advice:

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. Assault is assault. Rape is rape is rape and it’s a crime.

Biden, who drafted VAWA back in 1994 as a Senator, has been re-focusing on this issue a lot lately. In the spring, he and the Department of Education told colleges they needed to do more to prevent sexual assault. And he recently launched the “Apps Against Abuse” competition.

I’m curious to hear what you would tell the VP. Leave your ideas in the comments and then share them with Biden by filling out the form on his website or tweet at him using the #1is2many hashtag.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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