About Vice President Biden's Efforts to End Violence Against Women
On June 20, 1990, then-Senator Joe Biden introduced the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in the United States Congress. This act was a landmark piece of legislation that changed the way our country responded to domestic violence and sexual assault. VAWA changed law enforcement practices, improved the criminal justice system, and created a network of services for victims. The bill established new federal crimes of interstate domestic violence and stalking, doubled penalties for repeat sex offenders, and sparked the passage of laws at the state level to protect victims. Since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, rates of domestic violence have decreased by over 50%. [i]
As Vice President, Joe Biden has continued to advocate on behalf of women. Upon entering office, the Vice President appointed the first ever White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, Lynn Rosenthal. In this role, Ms. Rosenthal advises the Vice President on the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault, serves as a liaison to the domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy community and promotes collaboration across federal agencies. This interagency approach to reducing violence against women has resulted in an unprecedented level of coordination among federal agencies.
Vice President Biden has focused specifically on strengthening efforts to reduce dating violence against students, teens, and young women ages 16-24. 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. Men are also survivors of this violence. Because even one incident is too many, in September 2011, the Vice President launched the 1is2many initiative. 1is2many uses technology and outreach to get the message out and to help reduce dating violence and sexual assault among students, teens and young adults. The Vice President is also working hard to improve the response to sexual assault and dating violence on college campuses, ensuring that students can pursue their education free from violence.
On January 22, 2014, the Vice President joined President Obama when he created the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. The Office of the Vice President currently co-chairs the interagency taskforce along with the White House Council on Women and Girls. President Barack Obama has charged the task force with sharing best practices along with increasing transparency, enforcement, and public awareness to protect and support survivors. The Office of the Vice President and the White House Council on Women and Girls also published a report on sexual violence entitled, “Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action.” The Vice President and the Task Force are working hard to partner across government, education, academia, and communities everywhere to ensure that all students feel safe, secure, and in position to thrive when they head to school, and out into the world.
January 22, 2014
President Obama and Vice President Biden say that as a government, and as a nation, we have the capacity to stop sexual assault, support those who have survived it, and bring perpetrators to justice.October 31, 2014
Vice President Biden visited the National Domestic Violence Hotline to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month.March 7, 2013
The reauthorized Violence Against Women Act will continue effective programs while helping better address the needs of especially vulnerable populations and prevent violence in future generations.September 14, 2011
Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden hold a reception to celebrate the 17th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) being signed into law.April 4, 2011
Addressing Sexual Violence in Our Schools
Vice President Joe Biden visits the University of New Hampshire to raise awareness and announce a new Administration effort to help the nation's schools address sexual violence.October 27, 2010
Commemorating Domestic Violence Awareness Month
President Obama and Vice President Biden mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month by highlighting the Obama Administration’s unprecedented coordination and cooperation across the entire government to protect victims of domestic and sexual violence and enable survivors to break the cycle of abuse.September 22, 2010
16th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act
Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden opened their home for a night dedicated to ending violence against women to mark the 16th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act and to recommit ourselves to ending sexual and domestic violence.
[i] Rand, M. 2009. Criminal Victimization, 2008. U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics