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Vice President Joe Biden speaks about sexual assault prevention at the Jesse Owens Recreation Center at The Ohio State University on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. The White House launched the "It's On Us" campaign last year to combat campus sexual assault. (Yi-Ke Peng/WOUB)

Vice President Biden Speaking Out About Sexual Assaults on College Campuses

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Columbus—Vice President Joe Biden visited the Ohio State University Thursday evening to talk to students about the “Its On Us” campaign.

“Its On Us” is a White House initiative to get students from college campuses across the nation to take an active role in preventing sexual violence on his or her campus. The event marks the one-year anniversary of the program.

Vice President Joe Biden speaks about sexual assault prevention at the Jesse Owens Recreation Center at The Ohio State University on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. The White House launched the "It's On Us" campaign last year to combat campus sexual assault. (Yi-Ke Peng/WOUB)
Vice President Joe Biden speaks about sexual assault prevention at the Jesse Owens Recreation Center at The Ohio State University on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. The White House launched the “It’s On Us” campaign last year to combat campus sexual assault. (Yi-Ke Peng/WOUB)

“This is the most heinous crime that can be committed,” Biden said. “The question we as a nation have to ask repeatedly is what made him think he had a right to raise his hand.”

According to Biden, statistics show that 1 in 5 women will experience some type of sexual assault before graduating. He challenged students to hold one another accountable and made them promise to not just be a bystander.

“Make sure women who are abused never, never, never ask themselves the rhetorical question “What did I do?,” Biden said. He also thanked those who have experienced an assault for making a difference by becoming vocal about their attack. “There are thousands of young women who are gaining courage to say maybe I can come forward and say what happened.”

Students clap during Vice President Joe Biden's speech on sexual assault prevention at the Jesse Owens Recreation Center at The Ohio State University on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. The White House launched the "It's On Us" campaign last year to combat campus sexual assault. (Yi-Ke Peng/WOUB)
Students clap during Vice President Joe Biden’s speech on sexual assault prevention at the Jesse Owens Recreation Center at The Ohio State University on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. The White House launched the “It’s On Us” campaign last year to combat campus sexual assault. (Yi-Ke Peng/WOUB)

There were hundreds of students at the event. One attendee said events like this change the culture surrounding sexual violence on campus. “With this awareness I hope it springs action because action without awareness is not prevention, it’s not effective.  We need to do more than spread awareness so I hope that the people who are aware now take action,” OSU Alumni India Harris-Jones said.

The “Its On Us” campaign is asking students to take action and go online to pledge their support. You can find more information at itsonus.org.