Joe Biden. Photo via Wikipedia
Joe Biden. Photo via Wikipedia

Vice President Joe Biden appeared at Sunday night’s Oscar ceremony to urge Americans to take a stand against sexual violence by taking a pledge vowing to intervene in incidents of rape.

Biden, who was the main author of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act during his career in the Senate, introduced Lady Gaga for a performance of her nominated song, “Til It Happens to You.” The singer co-wrote the piece about campus sexual assault with songwriter Diane Warren for the documentary “The Hunting Ground.”

“Despite significant progress over the last few years, too many women and men on and off college campuses are still victims of sexual abuse, and tonight, I’m asking you to join millions of Americans, including me, President (Barack) Obama, the thousands of students I’ve met on college campuses and the artists here tonight, to take the pledge — a pledge that says I will intervene in situations when consent has not or cannot be given,” Biden said. “Let’s change the culture.

“We must and we can change the culture so that no abused woman or man, like the survivors you will see tonight, ever feel they have to ask themselves, ‘What did I do?’ They did nothing wrong. So folks, I really mean this, I’m sincere, take the pledge. Go look at ItsOnUs.org.”

Biden has been one of the main advocates for the administration’s “It’s On Us” campaign, which is aimed at raising awareness about the problem of sexual violence on American campuses. The campaign asks students to take a pledge to intervene if a sexual assault is taking place, to recognize that sexual contact without consent is an assault, to support survivors and to make sexual assault unacceptable.

Biden is expected to remain in Los Angeles overnight tonight, then depart Monday for Washington, D.C.

–City News Service

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