What do you get when you put a pop star and the former vice president of the United States in one video? A powerfully moving appeal to support sexual assault survivors.
According to HuffPost, former Vice President Joe Biden and Lady Gaga teamed up to create a PSA for Biden’s “It’s On Us” campaign, a project he started in 2014 to stop sexual assaults on college campuses around America. In the video, HuffPost says the duo not only asks viewers to not be bystanders to abuse, they also urged survivors to seek support.
“I am a sexual assault survivor,” Gaga said in the video. “I know the effects, the aftermath, the trauma ― psychological, physical, mental. It can be terrifying waking up every day feeling unsafe in your own body.”
But, Gaga followed her experience by saying that having a support system that is loving and safe can help survivors power through.
Biden spoke on the importance of intervention this way: “It’s on everyone to intervene, to stop abuse when they see it, and when they hear about it, to intervene.”
Agreed. Watch the PSA here.
Rape and sexual assault are at the fore of the American public sphere after the major backlash surrounding the Stanford rape case. While the issue won’t be dissipating any time soon, Vice President Joe Biden is making sure we keep the conversation about sexual assault going — especially with men.
According to Glamour, Biden spoke to a crowd of 5,000 women at the United State of Women Summit on June 14, not only reaffirming his commitment to the Violence Against Women Act, but also asserting that “America’s own culture is to blame for allowing women to go on feeling unheard.”
In between discussing the apparent ‘rape culture’ perpetuated in the United States, Biden offered that men have a significant role to play in both allowing the culture to continue and attempting to halt its growth, Glamour says.
Glamour reported his thoughts on the topic this way:
“But Biden reserved some of his harshest words for ‘regular’ guys who put up with ‘the locker room talk, the bar banter, the rape jokes,’ any of the ‘sexist talk [that] perpetuates the idea that women are less deserving of basic human dignity than men.’ Drawing upon Dante’s classic argument that the deepest circle of hell is reserved for those who remain silent ‘in times of moral crisis,’ Biden argued that it isn’t merely an act of passivity to ignore these (wildly unfunny) ‘jokes.’ In fact, he said, ‘If you let it pass…you become an accomplice.’
As much as Vice President Biden’s words point out a reality within American society, they also serve as a call to action, prompting men of all ages to stand up to such ‘jokes’ and defending women’s rights and bodies.
To watch Biden’s speech, head over to the vice president’s Facebook page by clicking here.
A trip to the University of Colorado on Friday, Aril 8 wrapped up Vice President Joe Biden’s Week of Action campaign, speaking on the need for college students to be a part of the solution to affect change on sexual assaults on college campuses.
According to the USA Today, the Week of Action campaign, part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, was a facet of the White House’s “It’s On Us” initiative. Launched in 2014, the campaign “urges students to make a ‘personal commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault,’ and which provides tools to help empower and equip students and administrations to both better understand and tackle the issue.”
Biden called upon all students in the audience to take the It’s On Us pledge, which asks students to not only recognize what is considered a sexual assault, but also to intervene when possible and create a safe environment on their campuses for their classmates.
In addition to the pledge, Biden asked all college administrators to not only take initiative in making their campuses safe, but to also ensure that they hear from victims, according to the USA Today.
“Every time you talk about it, it comes back. It comes back. It takes courage (to speak up), but they’re all saving lives,” Biden he told the crowd. “Think about how many voices are on this campus that you haven’t heard but you know are there, crying silently.”
Thank you, Vice President Biden, for being a voice for so many who are voiceless.